Month: February 2017

A Tale Dark and Grimm

Posted February 27, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review, Middle Grade, Reading Challenges / 0 Comments

A Tale Dark and GrimmA Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1) Series: A Tale Dark and Grimm
by Adam Gidwitz
Format: Paperback
on October 28th 2010
Pages: 256
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers Goodreads

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.
Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

This weeks Middle Grade Monday is the first of its kind and it’s a special one! This week my daughter and I will both be reviewing A Tale Dark and Grimm. We decided since I’m always suggesting books to her and she’s always trying to get me to read what she’s reading, we would just read the same book at the same time and review it on my blog! HOW FUN! Madalynne is in the 5th grade and is always reading like crazy. I actually started the Middle Grade Monday feature because of her. She was reading books I hadn’t read and I wanted to be able to flail over them with her. Without further ado, here is our review of A Tale Dark and Grimm.


At first I was like ‘Okay this is going to be another remix of a fairy tale’. As soon as I got out of the first chapter, I was like ‘whoa, this isn’t a children’s book’. But then it started to get really interesting. The narrator is hilarious. I liked how he made jokes out of the bloody scenes and he compared stuff to how it was then to how it is now. I liked the way the book was written best [out of everything], a whole bunch of stories all wrapped up into one. It was different, unusual, not your normal fairy tale book. There were some parts I really didn’t enjoy at all, I don’t want to give them away but what Hansel and Gretel parents did was a horrible mistake. I didn’t like it but it made me curious about the rest of the book. I also think the parents have horrible parenting problems too!

Overall I think it is an amazing book. I think it won a spot in my top ten favorites. I’ve already recommended it to my friends and I want to continue with the series. It’s not the very best but it’s pretty awesome in my opinion.



I promise you this is a Hansel and Gretel retelling like nothing you’ve ever read before. I bought this book a while back because I fell in love with the cover. I tend to buy books with pretty covers even if I don’t really know much about the book itself. When I heard this might be made into a movie I bought a second copy so we could buddy read it. I didn’t know it was a bloody as it is… beheadings, slicing off a finger, chopping up children and eating them in stew, skinning a boy, and probably more I haven’t mentioned. I wasn’t really sure what to think at first but the more I read the more engrossed I became. Gitwitz really put a different spin on a lot of different fairy tales. I really enjoyed this book, it was both gruesome and funny! Definitely recommended for older middle grade readers.


Well, there you have it folks. Our first ever dual review. I hope to make this happen more often, maybe once school lets out and we have more time to read! I checked IMDB for any information on the movie but it looks like there probably won’t be one. IMDB hasn’t updated anything in a LONG time.



Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Half Wild

Posted February 15, 2017 by Ashley in Book Review, Reading Challenges, Young Adult / 0 Comments

Half WildHalf Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Carl PreKopp
Length: 9hrs 33min
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
on March 24th 2015
Pages: 412
Published by Viking Juvenile Goodreads

"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.

This book was so good. I listened to the audio book (as I did the Half Bad) and Carl Prekopp delivered an epic performance yet again. Prekopp is a vivid storyteller who leaves nothing to be desired. Sally Green…ugh this story. Part mystery, part romance, part science fiction and just all around amazing. The cover, let’s talk about the cover. On the cover of Half Bad you see a profile who I presume to be Nathan in red blood or smoke. On the cover of Half Wild you see the profile of a wolf or dog in green smoke.   Now, if you’ve read this book, or the series you know what is really happening on the cover. I LOVE the way the covers tie back to the story so beautifully.

Before I continue, let’s get through this character list:

Nathan: 17, half white witch, half black witch, main character.

Gabriel: Black witch stuck in a fain body, Nathan’s best friend.

Annalise: White witch, on the run from her cruel family, attended school with Nathan.

Marcus: Most famous for killing witches and eating their hearts to gain their powers. Mostly estranged from Nathan.

Van: Black witch helping Nathan find Annalise, saved Gabriel.

Nesbitt: Van’s assistant. Half black witch, half fain.

Mercury: Powerful black witch, holding Annalise in a death like state in exchange for Marcus’s heart.

Half Wild begins pretty much where Half Bad left off. It’s been four weeks and four days since Nathan met his father for the first time and became a full witch. It’s been four months since he slashed his Hunter sister Jessica’s face and left her to bleed. Four months since Nathan has seen, or heard from Gabriel. The book opens with Nathan hearing that all too familiar cell phone buzz and he knows Hunters are near. Nathan has been waiting for Gabriel at the rondevu point but Nesbitt shows up instead, and he says he knows how to find Gabriel. As Nathan and Nesbitt make plans to return to Van and Gabriel they are attacked by Hunters. Nathan and Nesbitt have to kill the Hunters in order to survive. Unfortunately the Hunter Nathan has to kill is very special to Annalise and Nathan knows this could change everything between them.

Once Nathan and Nesbitt are back with Gabrielle and Van they began to work out a plan to get Annalise back from Mercury. What Nathan doesn’t know (but soon finds out) is that everyone wants him to join the Alliance of Free Witches or AFW and they want Nathan to get his father to join too. White witches are experimenting on black witches and killing them seemingly for sport. An alliance of black witches and white witches might be just what’s needed to bring down the evil white witches and let everyone live in peace. But Nathan won’t join the alliance until Annalise is safe from Mercury, now the story really begins!

This book is a whirlwind of adventure. From cover to cover. I am absolutely on the Nathan and Gabriel ship…just if you’re wondering. I actually finished this book almost two weeks before I wrote my review because my emotions were so raw after that ending. I sat down to write it once and had no idea where to start. I will begin Half Lost this week and hope to god I survive it! I will say this though, Sally Green is now on my auto buy list. I will read anything she writes.

Check out this video of Sally Green talking about Half Wild:

Have you read Half Wild? If so, let’s chat!

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Top Ten Tuesday

Posted February 7, 2017 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 0 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. This week’s topic is ten books I wish had more or less of something. I decided to do ten books I wish had less pages. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the books (in some cases it totally does) but mostly I thought the story could have been told with less pages. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here so here they are in no particular order.




I know some of these books are loved by a LOT of people and I really did enjoy them but I still feel like they could have been told with fewer pages!

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? If so, lets chat!



Posted February 6, 2017 by Ashley in Middle Grade / 0 Comments

Nightmares!Nightmares! (Nightmares!, #1) by Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller, Karl Kwasny
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Middle Grade
on September 9th 2014
Pages: 355
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers Goodreads

Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!
Charlie Laird has several problems:1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.3. He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.
What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.
[This is the first book in a trilogy.]

If you know me even a little, you know I judge a book by its cover, this is exactly how I discovered Nightmares!. I was shelving in the Young Readers section and it immediately caught my attention. The purple with the mansion and the giant moon in the background. It’s hard to see with this image but the hardcover edition has the title and authors in shiny silver which really makes everything pop. Speaking of the title, the font used is so beautiful! I set it aside for purchase even before I read the synopsis.  I didn’t know who Jason Segel was (I KNOW, I’m sorry) but it didn’t really matter because the book sounded good and I had to buy it.

Charlie has lived in the small town of Cypress Creek all 12 years of his life. It’s a small boring kind of town with not a lot to do. When Charlie was 9 he became intrigued by the giant purple mansion on top of the biggest hill in town. He starts asking questions about the house and discovers his mother has actually been inside it! When Charlie asks his mom about the house, his mother shuts down,  and visibly pales at the thought of it. She promises to tell Charlie everything when he is older, but she never gets the chance. Just a few weeks after that conversation, his mother becomes ill and passes away. Charlie then becomes obsessed with the purple mansion, asking everyone in town about it. No one knows much about it though, it’s pretty much a mystery. Three years later, the worse thing that could possibly happen to Charlie happens; his father gets married to the lady who lives in the purple mansion!

Not long after the move Charlie begins having nightmares and he is scared to sleep because of them. In his dreams Charlie is visited by a witch (that resemble his step mother) and her cat. Each night the witch tries to take Charlie into the Netherworld but she always seems to fail. One night when Charlie is preoccupied, the witch takes Charlie’s brother Jack instead. Charlie follows the witch into the forest but quickly losses her. Charlie must find his brother and bring him home, but it’s not going to be easy. Along the way he meets a colorful cast of characters including killer bunnies, giants flesh-eating bugs and a crazy clown, just to name a few.

I thoroughly enjoyed going on this adventure with Charlie and I really want to read the rest of the series.  This is a book that anyone at any age can really enjoy and it might be a great suggestion for a young reader who has recently lost a family member.


Have you read Nightmares!? If so, let’s chat!