Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sentence Sneak Peek - Furthermore

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

The first sentence from each chapter of Furthermore, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

* Book received from the publisher for review.

Once upon a time, a girl was born.

The sun was raining again.

Alice never did get to tell Mother her story.

The pigs weren’t so bad.

Alice’s evening had left her in a foul temper.

Mother was waiting in the yard when Alice got back.”

No one had come to find her.

Alice found a nice patch of grass and sat down in it, spreading her skirts around her.”


Alice wandered toward town in a daze.

The center of town was always a bit of a shock for Alice no matter how many times she’d wandered through, and I can’t say I blame the girl.”

Mother was making tea when Alice finally made it home—just before dark.”

Alice looked up and found Mother standing in the doorway.”

The morning arrived the way Alice imagined a whis-per would: in tendrils of gray and threads of gold, quietly, qui-etly.”

I hadn’t wanted to mention this earlier, but Oliver Newbanks had been standing just to the left of our Alice for over fourteen minutes before he finally stepped for-ward and pulled on her braid.”

Alice’s stomach was a bundle of sticks, each ner-vous tap of her toes snapping another one in half.”

Mr. Lottingale stepped onto the stage.

Only three others had gone before her, and al-ready Alice knew she had made a great mistake.

Alice could not make herself sit with Mother.

By the time Oliver found her, Alice was nearly at the edge of Ferenwood, right on the border of Fennelskein, hiding under a penny bush.”

Alice’s body was goose bumps from hair to heel.

Alice peered into the open doorway and saw nothing at all.”

Alice fell very far.

“Alice, no!”

Oliver had gone white.

They walked for days.

Alice thought maybe she should scream—it seemed like the right thing to do—but it didn’t feel honest.”

Alice stared at Oliver in stunned silence, just until the clouds shook and the moons flickered and the stars swayed in the sky.”

Slumber was quite tediously dark.


Two thumps later, in Still they sat.

Alice sat there a moment longer, waiting for Oliver to tell her he was joking, when he tugged on her braid and said, “Narrow-mindedness, Alice, will do us no good.”


Ten minutes later, Alice was grumpy.

Oliver Newbanks was equal parts terror and anguish.”

Alice had only managed to take one step forward before the fox found her again.”

Alice was very likely screaming, though if you ask her about this today, she denies it, and I don’t know why.”

She wasn’t bleeding, and this was the first thing Alice noticed.”

When Alice opened her eyes again, she felt the blazing heat of a familiar sun beating down her back.”

It’s a great testament to the tender heart of our dear Alice that she did not agonize over this decision.”

Alice and Oliver had been wandering a long while before the floral hedges finally opened up to an expansive clearing.”

until they ran into a wall.

Paramint never wanted them to leave.

Oliver didn’t appear to either.

Alice and Oliver desperately needed a bath.

Oliver was waiting for her back at the eggshell house.”

Finally, Oliver cleared his throat.

“Is there anything you’d like to taste?”

Alice had never realized what a pleasure it could be to simply wake up in the morning.”

Alice flew back into the room as fast as she could, heart beating hard, hoping she could get to Oliver and out the door before Paramint ever came back.”

She and Oliver clung to each other as they fell, and in her mind Alice was already apologizing to him for be-ing the reason he died.”

Alice jumped straight up and back and hit her head against Oliver’s chest.”

Oliver couldn’t shake off his shock.

Oliver met Alice’s eyes in a sudden panic, and she knew there was no time to deliberate.”

I don’t know how much time elapsed between when she fell and when she woke—Oliver says it was at least several minutes—but when Alice finally blinked open her eyes, they’d already filled to the brim with tears.”

Dear reader: I do hope you enjoy a happy ending.

Alice and Father stood together quietly just out-side their little home, each lost in their own thoughts.”

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Review - Furthermore

I’m very excited to be part of the blog tour for Furthermore. This book is so full of life and the world just jumps off the page.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
* Book received from the publisher for review.

5 out of 5 gnomes

Middle Grade Magic, that’s what this book is when it comes down to it. It’s filled with color and life and a truly epic fairy tale. It has a real Alice in Wonderland-ish vibe mixed with magic and a plethora of weirdness.

I love the narrator/voice of the story and some of the notes included before chapters like “More Chapters This Way” and “!!!!!!!!” because they really make you get into the story even more.

Alice is plenty unique as the only person in her town that isn’t bursting at the seams with color. Her whole world is full of magic but everyone thinks that she doesn’t have any. She’s very in tune with nature and does indeed have a magical skill though it takes awhile in the story for the reader to discover what it is.

This story is truly a journey for all of the characters and they discover much about themselves along the way. Alice wants to do anything to find her father and finds out that finding him is going to be anything but easy.

Alice and Oliver make a really interesting team. I think the word frenemies fits them very well for most of the story. Their antagonistic relationship gets them in a lot of trouble but well it’s entertaining as heck to read.

The only thing I wanted more of was more information on how they do what they do with magic. Though I do like the wide range of magic shown. I also would like to know more about the whole Surrender ceremony.

When they go to Furthermore the story really takes off and you’ll never know what’s going to happen next. There’s danger and whimsy in equal measure along with some pretty frightening situations.

The writing is wonderful and the whole story will just have you speeding along looking forward to what happens next.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Weekend Read - Furthermore

This book is awesome so far. The whole fairytale-ness of it all just draws you in right away. Mafi is a master of lyrical writing, there are just so many great lines/quotes already. I can’t wait to see where this book goes next.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review - Ungifted

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

3 out of 5 gnomes

This book was a lot of fun. I picked up this book because it reminded me of that Simpsons episode where Bart gets sent to the genius school.

Donovan is definitely a troublemaker and you really can’t blame him for wanting to hide out after doing what he did.

The story is a little predictable but it's still a fast and fun read.

I like the multiple perspectives because it lets you see all the sides of the story.

The whole robotics team angle was great and I loved what Donovan's normal kid realness brought to the school.

The ending was pretty pitch perfect too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Ungifted

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

“Donovan alone had managed to engage him. Could that be a kind of giftedness in and of itself?”

“The Hardcastle gym may have been my Titanic, but we were survivors, James and me.”

“<<Hypothesis: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Especially if one of those parts is Donovan.>>”

“We were just knowers.”

“<<Hypothesis: Brothers and sisters forge family bonds through a complex byplay of accusations and insults.>>”

“We’re gifted,” I explained.”

“<<Hypothesis: Intentional or not, movement to a beat = dancing.>>”

“Challenge isn’t going to come from any curriculum, no matter how hard they make it. It’s going to come from life.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sentence Sneak Peek - Ungifted

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

The first sentence from each chapter of Ungifted, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

I want a refund from ancestry.com.”

To be the superintendent of a school district like Hardcastle, with its forty-seven buildings and more than thirty thousand students, was a huge responsibility.”

“If I didn’t die of stress that night, I probably never will.”

“<<Hypothesis: Being gifted is not a gift.”

When the paper airplane bounced off the back of the driver’s head, the man pulled the bus over onto the shoulder.”

The grade glowered at me off the cover sheet of my social studies paper: D-minus.”

“<<Hypothesis: Donovan Curtis is smarter than all of us put together.>>”

These were my math test results for the semester so far: 0 out of 20, 1 out of 15, 4 out of 35, and incomplete.”


Well, my “no screwups” rule was pretty much out the window.”

“<<Hypothesis: I have the perfect wardrobe— for milking a cow.>>”

This was the worst night of my life.”

For all the eight hundred million videos on YouTube, you had to figure there were at least another eight hundred million that never got filmed.”

“Noah Youkilis gave Daniel Sanderson a black eye at the dance on Friday night.”

It makes perfect sense that a class with a teacher named Oz would call their robot Tin Man.”

Well, it was official, confirmed by the vet.”

I was in my car heading back to the office, but something didn’t sit well with me.”

I was pretty good at video games, but never had I felt more comfortable with a joystick in my hand than when I was driving Tin Man.”

“<<Hypothesis: Truth is stranger than fiction.>>”

According to ancestry.com, James Donovan went to Washington to testify as a witness at the Senate hearings into the sinking of the Titanic.”

The state robotics meet.”

I leaped up out of my seat, fists punching at the air.”

“<<Hypothesis: The speed of the drive is directly proportional to the acuteness of the crisis.>>”

I refuse to let this mess leave a hole in my record.”

I’m not sure how the clip made it to YouTube.”

The image was fuzzy at first.”