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Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

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Rated, Not Reviewed

Welcome, all!  Here another set of books I've read and rated, but not reviewed.  :]

The Wishing Spell
The Land of Stories #1
Chris Colfer

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

My Rating

This was such an intriguing story line!  However, I was super distracted by the. . . *cough*  BAD WRITING.  Call me petty, but that's probably the only reason I gave this three stars. . .  I listened to the audio book on this one, read by the author himself, so I could multi-task, and I was blown away by how many uses of the word "said" he used.  I honestly don't think "asked" or "stated" or "whispered" or any other synonyms for said word *winks* is in his vocab.  Still, I'm willing to see past this because I believe it's his debut novel AND it's written for the younger readers -- say, ages 8-12.  The story was interesting to say the least.  If you or your younger siblings love fairytale revamps/[unofficial] continuings, then this would be a fun ride.  Please don't take my word for it!

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The Map to Everywhere
Map to Everywhere #1
Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.

My Rating

This is another young readers series!  I enjoyed this one.  It was incredibly bizarre, in an interesting/intriguing way, funny, and ADVENTUROUS.  Plus one of the main characters takes her one-eyed CAT along with her.  (A plus in my book, y'all!)  Both Marrill and Finn are searching for something, and it seems the Pirate Stream has thrown them together for this wild ride.  To find what they seek, they must learn to work together and trust each other -- a homesick girl and a friendless boy.  I'd throw in that this would be a great read-aloud for the fam!  Ages 8-12.

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The Selection
The Selection #1
Kiera Cass

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Rating

Here's another sorta-futuristic series to add to your bookshelf, whether physical or digital.  I say "sorta" because the world as America knows it is divided up into casts -- people are basically labeled under numbers, One being the rich highborns and Eights being the lowest of the low.  The Selection is pretty much the Bachelor show (if you've ever watched that. . . I can honestly say I never have, nor will I ever.)  A group of girls are randomly selected and taken to the palace to live as princesses -- Ones.  Eventually, they'll be eliminated and whittled down to a select few until one remains, who will then marry the prince.  (NOTE: This is a series!  So don't expect to see who's number one by the end of this little novel. . . )  Also, this is a romance! There's heartache and love and tears and all that good stuff.  Still, I'd recommend for ages 16 and up, at least.

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Farewell, for now, dear hearts!


  1. The children's library where I work has all the Land of Stories books; they always catch my eye, but I've never read one of them.

    The author, Chris Colfer, was on the TV show Glee... He's churned out a LOT of books since the show ended a few years back. I think I picked up one of his YA novels at Barnes and Noble once, and yeah, the writing didn't stand out to me as particularly good either, lol.

  2. These all sound really good! The Map of Everywhere especially intrigues me. It looks so fun!

    I've actually had my eye on The Selection for a while. But I'm always wary of secular books. What kind of material was in it? Was there any language or, ahem, OTHER things?


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And each must make, ere life is flown,
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