This is Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! I downgraded blogs because I wasn't using the other one as much and didn't need the extra expense. Hope you all will join me here!

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

ARC Review ~ The Area 51 Files by Julie Buxbaum

 I received this for review from Netgalley and the publisher Random House Children (Delecorte Press).


Title: Area 51 Files
Author: Julie Buxbaum
Illustrator: Lavanya Naidu
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 stars

When Sky Patel-Baum is sent to live with her mysterious uncle, she didn't imagine she'd end up here: Area 51. A top-secret military base with a bajillion rules and so classified not even the president knows its secrets.
Also, it turns out the place is full of aliens. Lots and lots of aliens. But they prefer to be called Break Throughs, thank you very much.


As Sky sets out to explore her extraordinary new home with her pizza-obsessed pet hedgehog Spike, she meets her otherworldly next-door neighbor Elvis and his fluffy pup, Pickles. But something mysterious is afoot in Area 51. Some of the Break Throughs have gone missing... at the exact same time Sky arrived.

Where could they be? How can Sky and her uncle convince everyone they had nothing to do with the disappearance? And why does the macaroni and cheese at Area 51 Middle have eyeballs in it? New best friends Sky, Elvis, Spike, and Pickles try to crack the case, but the clock is ticking...

I just love middle grade books and this one was a lot of fun! It's a little bit sci-fi mixed with a mystery and set in Area 51, and just look at that cover! I knew I needed this one. 

Sky's grandmother is getting older and has decided to move to a retirement home but they don't allow children. It had been set up a long time ago that she would go and live with her Uncle that she doesn't really know. There are reasons why she don't know about him and that is because he lives in Area 51 and once you are there, you don't get to go anywhere or talk to anyone outside of 51. 

On the day Sky arrives to the community of 51 she is thrown into what feels a bit like a different world. She is seeing her Uncle for the first time and learning  that there are aliens aka break throughs.  Also she finds out that on the day she arrives that some aliens called Zdstrammars or Z's for short are missing. These's Zs are little aliens that look like bubbles with eyes! They are very fragile and use a lot of bubble wrap around sharp objects...lol. 

Anyway because Sky came the same day this happened, some of those from the FBAI (Federal Bureau of Alien Investigations) thought it was suspicious that it happened when she came and thought her Uncle or her might have something to do with it. There are some there who don't like her Uncle and want the job he is about to get.

Sky and her new alien friend Elvis decide to investigate and find out what might have happened to the Z's as this is her new home and she can't have anything happening to her or her Uncle. 

This was a lot of fun with some really great illustrations! I really liked Sky, Elvis and eventually Zane. Her Uncle is different but then a lot of the humans that have lived in 51 for a long time are a bit odd and I guess if I was never allowed to go anywhere I would be a bit odd too!

It had a fun mystery and I think if your young readers are great with mysteries they can probably figure it out. It was just really fun seeing all the strange aliens in the illustrations. 

I thought it was weird to call the aliens Break Throughs as if it's bad to say alien and that would be my only complaint. Overall it was a lot of fun!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Week in Review ~ A rough week

 The Week in Review is where I combine Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post and It's Monday! What are you reading?  If you have never joined in on these meme's you can check them out by clicking on the meme and it will take you to the host blog.

So this past week has been a rough one. It really started with last Saturday when my senior dog passed on as I had mentioned I think in my last Sunday post. Then on Monday Dresden wasn't acting right and I noticed she couldn't seem to go potty. She hadn't been eating well last couple days but sometimes she is picky so I didn't think much about it. But Monday seemed worse and she was panting really hard and not acting like she should, so I took her to the vet and she had to have an emergency spay. She is 8 years old and they were like with older dogs sometimes they don't make it or have a blood clot so you can imagine the wreck I was in as they kept her overnight to pump some fluids in her so they can do the surgery.

They did the surgery really early on Tuesday morning and let me tell you waiting was killing me. I might have called a couple of times, and then finally they said she could come home at 3pm that day and well it's just been a rough week of me sleeping on the floor with her because she wouldn't rest unless I was there with her. She would actually growl at me if I took my hand off of her! :) I am really to old for floor sleeping...lol. So I am so tired and she can't jump or go upstairs till Oct. 4th so I might be a zombie by that time. I am going to try and see if she will sleep on the couch with me and not try and get off, if so we are upgrading the couch...lol. She sits on it without much movement so I think we can make it work...fingers crossed!.

So here are a couple of pics of her. :) Sorry for the horrible lighting.




Hope everyone has a great week and happy reading!

What you might have missed on my blog

Books I have added

 Nothing! :)

Books read last week

 

  • A Brush with Murder - This was an okay start to a new series. I listened to the audiobook and wasn't a huge fan of how the narrator voiced the main character's sister, it was a bit annoying.
  • Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Please - This was interesting and fun!
  • The Detective Assistant - This was fun and it was interesting to find out in the authors note that the aunt in the story was based on a real person, the first woman detective for the Pinkertons.

Currently reading

 

Because of how last week went reading didn't go so well. I did get a few done as you can see but for the most part you probably seen most of these on my currently reading from last week. The print and ebooks are not going so well as I am so tired reading with my eyes isn't happening.
  • Omens - New audiobook I have added in as it looks like a book for this time of the year.
  • The Zombie Stone - Not made much progress but 70 pages into it and I think it's okay so far.
  • Her Darkest Secret - It's one of my eARCs and I haven't made much progress maybe 4% into it.
  • The Mouse Watch in Space - On page 79, should have finished this one last week it as it's short but oh well. So far I am liking it. I am curious about what is going to happen and think I have spotted a bad guy so will be fun to find out it I am right.
  • Spells for Lost Things - I am not sure how I feel about this one I do know that I like Willows sections better than Masons, I like the witchy stuff but as far as romance part I am over half the book and they just met and has this sort of insta attraction and not a fan of that, but I am curious about the book. On page 181.
  • Blood River - Review book from Book Siren and I am about 63% into it and it's been slightly boring and not at all like what I hoped from the cover.

What might be up next

 

  • Forgiving - I am really enjoying this authors books and can't wait to get into another one! This will be my fourth one this year! :)

How was your week? What did you get?


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

ARC Review ~ Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe

 I received this from the publisher for an honest review. Thank you Simon and Schuster!



Title:
Alliana Girl of Dragons

Author: Julie Abe

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4 STARS

Once upon a time, Alliana believed in dreams and fairy tales as sweet as spun-sugar clouds. Alliana wished on shooting stars, sure that someday she and her grandmother would be able to travel to the capital city to see the queen. Then her grandmother passed away—and those dreams disappeared in a disenchanted puff.

Now Alliana’s forced to attend to the whims of her wicked stepmother—with long days of cleaning her stepfamily’s inn as her skin burns raw or staying up until the crack of dawn to embroider her stepsister’s ball gowns. Until she meets two beings who change her life forever—the first is a young nightdragon who Alliana discovers she can magically talk to. And the second is Nela, a young witch.

Nela needs Alliana’s help navigating the mysterious abyss, filled with dangerous beasts, a place Alliana knows by heart. Alliana sees Nela’s request as a chance to break free of her stepmother’s shadow and to seize a chance at a life she’s barely dared to hope for—but there’s a risk. If caught, Alliana will be stuck working for her stepmother for the rest of her life. Can Alliana truly make wisps of dreams into her own, better-than-a-fairy-tale happily ever after?

Inspired by the Japanese Cinderella story and set in the same world as the Eva Evergreen series, this story can be read as a standalone.
 

Alliana, Girl of Dragons was a fun fantasy story that is a retelling of Cinderella for young readers. I love a good Cinderella type retelling so to me this was very enjoyable even if I thought the begining was a bit slow.

Alliana's father died in the Abyss, a place were dragons roam. Alliana once had dreams but now she is doomed to work for her stepmother at her father's inn.  She doesn't mind spending her time with her grandmother (who isn't really her grandmother, but her step siblings grandmother), they spend a lot of time mending cloths for her stepmother and step siblings, plus any guest at the inn. 

Then one day the grandmother dies and things get a little harder on her and she goes walking out by the abyss where she sees a baby dragon about to get eaten by a larger dragon and she rescues it and has to keep it hidden. Then she meets a young witch Nela Evergreen and they become friends. These two things will change her life going forward.

The story spans a few years and there is a ball she has been wanting to go to as it's there that if you get picked you could go to the royal academy which could be the life changing thing she needs but it's not that simple and a lot of things happen but it was about the half way more in this story where a lot of the similarities to cinderella start to really ramp up a bit. 

I really liked Alliana, I thought she was a great character and I also loved Nela and Isao and also the nightdragon! The stepmother and stepbrother were horrible while the stepsister wasn't as bad she was just really different. 

I think if you like middle grade fantasy and a bit of cinderella retelling then I think you would enjoy this book. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

eARC Review ~ Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Amanda Flower

I am a part of the Berkley/Penguin Random House blog/social media tour for this book! This is my honest review for a copy of the eARC.

Title: Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Author: Amanda Flower

Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Berkley


January 1855
 Willa Noble knew it was bad luck when it was pouring rain on the day of her ever-important job interview at the Dickinson home in Amherst, Massachusetts. When she arrived late, disheveled with her skirts sodden and filthy, she'd lost all hope of being hired for the position. As the housekeeper politely told her they'd be in touch, Willa started toward the door of the stately home only to be called back by the soft but strong voice of Emily Dickinson. What begins as tenuous employment turns to friendship as the reclusive poet takes Willa under her wing. 

Tragedy soon strikes and Willa's beloved brother, Henry, is killed in a tragic accident at the town stables. With no other family and nowhere else to turn, Willa tells Emily about her brother’s death and why she believes it was no accident. Willa is convinced it was murder. Henry had been very secretive of late, only hinting to Willa that he'd found a way to earn money to take care of them both. Viewing it first as a puzzle to piece together, Emily offers to help, only to realize that she and Willa are caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse that reveals corruption in Amherst that is generations deep. Some very high-powered people will stop at nothing to keep their profitable secrets even if that means forever silencing Willa and her new mistress....

 

This is not the fluffy, cutesy cozy books you might be use to from this author. This is a historical mystery so it has some darker themes. It’s set in 1855 so it’s before the civil war, there is a lot of slavery talk, those for and against. The MC’s are Emily Dickenson and her new maid Willa Noble. When Willa’s family member is killed and she doesn’t think that it was an accident like everyone else thinks, Emily decides they should investigate.

They find out that he new a lot about the Underground Railroad and slavecatchers and Willa finds out there is a lot about him she didn’t know and feels bad that she wasn’t able to protect him.

It weaves some historical real time things with some fictional things to make an interesting mystery. I will say I didn’t know much about Emily Dickenson and I am not sure if this would have been something she would have thought of doing as I know in her later years she was a recluse, but maybe in her younger years she might have been a sleuth…lol. I really liked Willa Noble and a few other characters that you meet along the way. I enjoyed the mystery. 4 stars



About the Author:

Amanda Flower is the USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author of over forty novels, including the nationally bestselling Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series, Magical Bookshop Mysteries, and, written under the name Isabella Alan, the Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries. Flower is a former librarian, and she and her husband, a recording engineer, own a habitat farm and recording studio in Northeast Ohio. Learn more online at www.amandaflower.com.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Week in Review ~ Where did fall go?

 


The Week in Review is where I combine Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post and It's Monday! What are you reading?  If you have never joined in on these meme's you can check them out by clicking on the meme and it will take you to the host blog.

This week started out pretty decent but then the weather just got warmer and warmer. Now next week will be fall but out temps will be very unFall like as it will be in the mid to high 90s.. I don't want cold weather but I was really enjoying the 80s temps.

Also last night I had to say goodbye to my senior dog. Whitney had been with me for 18 years and lived a very long life and I knew it was coming but it was still sad and she will be missed.

:(

Things I have watched:

I finished Darby and Joan it's on Acorn TV and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for a new season to come out. Peacock has Jurassic Park Dominion with premium so I watched that, it was really good. I liked that they decided to combine the old crew from the first movies with the new crew. Maybe it's the time of the year but Peacock also has Vampire Diaries on it and I never finished that series so started watching it...lol. It's okay, I really am watching it for the guy who plays Damon (don't remember his name). :) Oh I will mention for anyone who had read the Vampire Academy books that Peacock has an original series that just came out of VA, I haven't watched it but also never read the books.

Have a great week and happy reading.

Books I have added

 Netgalley

  • Little Red House - This one is a thriller and sounded interesting. 
  • Monster Club - I love a good spooky middle grade book.
  • The Stars Did Wander Darkling - Another middle grade book. 

Books read last week

  • The Sorority Murder - I thought this was a pretty decent thriller.
  • A Duke for Diana - This one was a lot of fun!
  • The Harvest Man - Gruesome but really good, it's book 4 in the Scotland Yard Murder Squad.
  • Zombie Parade - Fun middle grade horror book.
  • Six Feet Deep Dish - Decent start to a series but the MC was a bit annoying.
If you would like to see me ramble a bit about these books check out my youtube channel.

Currently reading

 



  • The Witching Hour - I am making some headway on this one. I am 399 of 1038. It has its moments but boy are the chapters super long!!! Thank goodness for the help of audiobook.
  • The Mouse Watch in Space - This one is cute! I am on page 54 of 215.
  • Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Pleas - Just started this audiobook.
  • Spell for Lost Things - I am liking this one fine. I really like Willows POV over Masons. Page 177 of 356.
  • Her Darkest Secret - Not started yet but will be my ebook pick.

What might be up next

 


How was your week? What did you get?


Monday, September 12, 2022

Mini Review ~ Backlist eARC ~ Witch Haven

 

I am trying really hard to make a point to get to some of my older eARCs that I still have hanging out on Netgalley but not read. 


Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Rating: 4 stars

The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in this atmospheric historical fantasy following a young woman who discovers she has magical powers and is thrust into a battle between witches and wizards.

In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet—her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.

Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.

Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?

I was really excited for this one when I first requested it and then I got to thinking about how it was YA and I probably wouldn't like it so I held off on it and then it dropped off my radar until I got an email about the second book and then I was like oh yeah I have book one and it's the perfect time of year to bust it out so I did. :) 

I enjoyed this a bit more than I thought I would. Frances is an interesting character and I like the historical aspects of it as well. 

Frances accidently kills a man as is afraid she is going to be hauled to jail but instead some ladies calling themselves the Haxahaven Sanitarium that deal with Tuberculosis, but it's actually a place that helps Witches with their powers and Frances happens to be one. The thing is they want her to learn how to magic things for being a proper woman and Frances finds out about other magic that could maybe allow her to talk to her dead brother but this doesn't go as planned.

Frances ends up opening a whole new can of worms that has to do with the differences in Haxahaven and the male counter part Sons of (well I can't remember), anyway it causes a rift and there is also one of the boys who helps that along a bit. 

I thought it was pretty decent so I am curious enough to try the next book to see what happens after all that happened at the end! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Week in Review ~ A New Start

 


The Week in Review is where I combine Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post and It's Monday! What are you reading?  If you have never joined in on these meme's you can check them out by clicking on the meme and it will take you to the host blog.

So this is my first Sunday Post here on the new blog. Hopefully some of my buddies from when I had my wordpress blog will subscribe to me over here as I made the decision to downgrade to a free blogger blog as I haven't been posting as regularly as I use to and didn't need that little bit of extra money the hosting took each month. 

Not much happened this week besides me trying to figure out how to use blogger again. I started messing with this one back in May but then didn't for a while, but since my domain name for Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!  was expiring it kicked me into gear to get this one going. :) 

Things were going pretty good for the week till yesterday and our internet messed up. I think it has something to do with our provider which is our telephone company so they were closed today. The thing is I have wifi, but no service, so my phone has hotspot on it so I hooked the wifi up to the hotspot on my phone and we could get on our computers and stream tv, but not all at once because it's not that strong...lol. At least it saved me from being very bored. I let dad stream tv and watched Scarecrow and Mrs. King as I have the whole four seasons on dvd. :) 

Have a great week and happy reading! 

Books I have added

Netgalley: 

  • Wyoming Winter Rescue - Just couldn't pass up a good cowboy winter setting...lol. 
  • Murder at an Irish Castle - Start of a new series and I am hoping I will like this one more than the other cozy set in Ireland that I have tried as I love a good Irish setting!! 

Books read last week

  • The Witch Haven - I enjoyed this YA witchy book and I am curious about the second book.
  • How to Steal A Dragon's Sword - Book 9 in the How To Train Your Dragon series and I think this series is a lot of fun but mainly because I listen to the audiobook narrated by David Tennant!
  • Good Dog's Guide to Murder - When I seen the audiobook dropped for this on hoopla it was sort of a drop all others and listen as I really enjoy this series, bad thing is now to wait another year for another one...lol. 
  • Alliana, Girl of Dragons - This is set in the Eva Evergreen world and I didn't know that going in til I met a girl named Nela Evergreen. I have been told it's a standalone in the same world and someone said a prequel, so hope so as I do hate reading out of order!! Still it was a good cinderella retelling. 
  • Be My Ghost - First in the Haunted Haven series and not a bad start to a series. 

Currently reading

 

  • Spells for Lost Things - Just getting started with this one on page 48 of 356 and it comes out this month so need to get with it! It's a YA romance with maybe a hint of magic. Takes place is Salem so was curious. :) Just hope it's not to angsty..lol.
  • The Harvest Man - Doing a September challenge dealing with series and a prompt was a series you have been working on a long time and well The Scotland Yard Murder Club fits that real well. I have this one and one more left in the series so I really need to wrap that series up! Page 220 of 400! 
  • The Mouse Watch in Space - I really liked the first two in this series and then forgot this new one had came out till I seen it at the library while looking for middle grade spooky books. :) Just started it.
  • A Duke for Diana - This is an eARC that I am behind on but also fit a series prompt for challenge and I am really enjoying it about 24% into it. 
  • The Witching Hour - This is a buddy read or at least an attempt...lol Barb and I are taking two months to read this chunky beast it's like 1100 pages and I am only on chapter two but almost 4 hours into the 50 hour audiobook! I do have a print book as well but this thing is dense and I knew I would not get through it without some audio help. :)
  • The Sorority Murder - Had this one on overdrive and just decided to start it yesterday. I am 2 hours and 24 minutes into this one and it's been interesting so far. 

What might be up next


How was your week? What did you get?

ARC Review ~ The Area 51 Files by Julie Buxbaum

 I received this for review from Netgalley and the publisher Random House Children (Delecorte Press). Title: Area 51 Files Author: Julie Bux...