Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling | Screenplay book review

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 
November 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, screenplay
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

My Review:

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It’s another Harry Potter story, so of course, I was bound to pick this one up.

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We’re thrown back way before Harry Potter’s time set in America where Newt Scamander is researching and trying to protect magical creatures. He keeps them all in his magical suitcase where they co-live in their own respective habitats. It’s not until some beasts get loose that there’s a problem.

With the help of Tina Goldstein, a former Auror, and the help of Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (or Muggle), they go on a journey to find the beasts and bring them back to the suitcase.

There is one more beast roaming around called an Obscurus and it’s because of that they get into pretty big trouble with the Ministry of Magic.

Together they have to rally all the beasts and help wizards and Muggles alike against the Obscurus… and maybe save that beast as well.

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All the characters were a love. Newt was especially my favorite with his quirkiness and Jacob was a wonderful addition to the cast since he wasn’t a wizard.

Tina took a little getting used to for me, but I think that was also because she was more trying to save her own job than actually help Newt for a little while. Queenie, Tina’s sister, was a fun character as well.

I found they had a well-rounded amount of characters for this story (and they picked a great cast for the movie).

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This too is a screenplay. It was quick and easy to read as there were lesser details in it than the average novel. Still, it’s fun to get to know a little bit about the screenwriting process (from a writer’s point of view).

The book also had little illustrations and designs throughout the book with I felt completed it. They were pretty and fun to look at and added a little more to the story.

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I saw the movie before I read this. This is the screenplay for the movie, so there were no surprises. Even still, this is one I would recommend seeing the movie first and then reading the book. You’ll get a little more out of the movie (visually so), but the screenplay is fun to read as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” –J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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The Piper’s Price by Audrey Greathouse

pipers-price

Title: The Neverland Wars 2: The Piper’s Price
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Expected Publication: 
February 21, 2017
Genre: Young adult fantasy retelling
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.
Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.

The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.

My Review:

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I read the first Neverland Wars book and I felt iffy about it. At the time, I didn’t know a sequel was in the works. When the author contacted me about reviewing an eARC copy of The Piper’s Price, I thought I would give it a try.

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I still wasn’t a fan of Gwen as the protagonist. I could definitely do without her. I felt as though she didn’t know what she was doing half of the time. Peter Pan was super moody throughout most of the book. He wasn’t exactly pleasant to be around most of the time, which got old quick.

Tiger Lily was introduced. It was nice to see her, but she was in a different form. I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about that, though she was a great addition to the story. Aside from the Piper, the other characters, like the Lost Boys, weren’t in it too much. It was almost like Peter was making Gwen do just about everything. While he had his reasons for that, it got a bit old.

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Unlike the first book, this one seemed to have an actual plot. Peter is looking to fight back against Reality and seeks help from the Piper. However, he and the Piper have a tough past so Peter can’t directly go to him, so he sends Gwen to find him.

I was pretty excited to see the Piper in this story. I thought it would be an interesting twist. However, we didn’t meet the Piper until about 200 or so pages in, and the book is only a little over 300 pages. The Piper names his price and keeps Rose, Gwen’s little sister, as an incentive for Gwen and Peter to get him what he wants. Gwen was distraught and worried, but I didn’t feel it. One, because we don’t know Rose all that well, and two, I don’t really care about Gwen.

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Audrey Greathouse has a wonderful writing style. The way she tells the story is beautiful and she has a way with words. Plot and characters aside, I don’t mind reading her narration of things.

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While I wasn’t overly excited about the characters and the plot disappointed me a bit since the Piper didn’t have as big as a part as I assumed he would, the book was still enjoyable through the writing. I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the first book.

The NeverlandWars 2: The Piper’s Price by Audrey Greathouse gets…
4-stars4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“Don’t doubt yourself so much, Gwenny-Lyn–it’s horribly grown-up.” –Audrey Greathouse, The Piper’s Price

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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Title: The Rest of Us Just Live Here
Author: Patrick Ness
Published: 
HarperTeen, October 2015
Genre: Young adult fantasy
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

My Review:

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This was the second book I’ve read written by Patrick Ness. After reading When a Monster Calls from him, I figured any book written by him would be amazing. So, when I found this, I just had to pick it up.

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I found the characters to be super interesting. They each had their own internal conflict. Mikey, the protagonist, has anxiety and OCD. It was really cool to read through the perspective of a character with those issues. I have an anxiety disorder myself and I could relate to a lot of his feelings. His sister was recovering from an eating disorder and his best friends each had something going on (not necessarily disabilities, though).

The characters weren’t the “chosen ones” so they just went on with their lives as normally as possible. It was an interesting perspective.

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The point of this novel is that the characters are living their lives as normal as possible. Other things are happening in the world, but they’re not the “chosen ones.” They just go on with their lives and hope the chosen ones do survive. There are no heroes, no journeys, nothing.

I found the plot to be really cool because we’re set in a fantasy world with vampires and zombies and such, but it doesn’t really faze the main characters. There’s nothing they can do about it, so they just hope for the best and try to get good grades in school. I definitely like the idea of having the main cast not be the heroes of the story.

 

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Each chapter was written in first-person through Mikey’s eyes. We followed his day, his internal issues, as well as his family and friend issues, and more. He is, for the most part, a normal teenager hoping to make it to graduation.

However, at the beginning of each chapter, there’s a quick paragraph about the “indie kids,” who are the chosen ones of the story saving the world. There’s a little blurb about them explaining what they’re doing and what they’re currently fighting. It’s an insight to what’s happening in the world while Mikey panics about prom.

I thought it was cool to see the “news” of the world but continue on as though not much is happening. Because, let’s face it, we see stuff happen on the news every day, good and bad, yet we still go to school and work because that’s what we’re supposed to do.

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The novel had a great premise and was very well written. Patrick Ness just proved further to me that he’s a wonderful author. The characters and meaning behind the story was different and fun to read.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness gets…
5-stars5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“Give him words and sentences to put together and his forehead creases down so you can see exactly what he’ll look like when he’s eighty.” –Patrick Ness, The Rest of Us Just Live Here

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The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass book review
Via Goodreads
Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young adult romance/fantasy
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 Review:

 

I’m not one for romance, but the cover certainly caught my eye as did the title. Upon reading the blurb on the back I had a feeling this book would be one those “fairy-tale” type love stories and I guess, in a way, it kind of is.

It’s set in an alternate universe where Cass rewrote history to fit the fantasy antics of the story. And I have to say, what a world she created. The way the world works, its rules, and the kingdom is so well put together. I would never want to live there, but it’s a brand new place to explore inside my mind.

America is chosen as one of the 35 selected, but unlike any other fairy-tale she doesn’t want this. She’s only doing it for the money to help out her family. Of course, despite her not wanting to marry the prince, they become close anyway.

Most of the book was American trying to get used to “princess” life living in the castle with the other girls and the royal family. It was all interesting as we learned what the new life would be like alongside America.

Speaking of America, I had issues with her name. A lot of the characters have interesting names (one is named Tiny), but I just thought America was weird. Later in the book, her name is explained and it makes sense. Cass really thought of everything.

The overall plot is interesting and as the book was closer to the end, I was on the edge of my seat. A twist came along that I was not expecting. While I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, this one is working and I don’t know who to root for.

I loved the characters. America has a great relationship with her maids, which is nice to see. The prince has his own unique personality that is both prince-like and boy-like. America is headstrong and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants or tell it like it is.

Overall, this book is well written in a wonderful fantasy world with amazing characters. I can’t wait to read the next book!

The Selection by Kiera Cass gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“But he sat way too rigidly in his chair. He looked so uptight. His clean hair was too perfect, his tailored suit too crisp. He seemed more like a painting than a person.” –Kiera Cass, The Selection

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Jack Gregson and the Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilson

Jack Gregson and the Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilson book review
Via Goodreads

Title: Jack Gregson and the Forgotten Portal
Author: 
Peter Wilson
Genre: Middle grade fantasy
How I got the book: I got a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary (modified from Goodreads):

Something has changed at the Gregson Manor. An emerald has been stolen and a dark mist infects one of its Gardens.

Jack and his cousins are thrown into a universe of black magic and dark secrets, as they search for a way to save their world and hopefully the whole universe with it.

My Review:

This was a short, fun read.

Jack and his two cousins, David and Rosie, discover a secret within their family and have to stop the evil within many portals in order to stop it from getting to Earth.

This is a fun fantasy adventure that is perfect for middle graders, especially if they’re trying to find a book or series to really get into.

The world was unique with the many portals, different creatures they encountered, and the magic system.

The characters were enjoyable to follow. Jack and David are 13-years-old while Rosie was 11-years-old, but she didn’t act her age. I felt as though she was older.

My biggest problem with this book was that I felt as though it was rushed at times. The story is 162-pages long and more definitely could have been done on their adventure. It was pretty predictable as well. I knew the Shadow Man’s identity from the moment he was introduced. Even then, his identity was revealed within the next two chapters to the reader and then Jack figured it out shortly after.

The beginning started off strong, but as I kept reading I began to lose interest. It started to feel too rushed that I couldn’t take the time to care about what was going on anymore.

Overall, this book is a fun fantasy adventure that I would definitely recommend to middle-grade kids that are finding a series to get into or who are just starting to get into reading.

Jack Gregson and the Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilson gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“At least eight feet tall, it looked like a cross between a polar bear and a monster from a Saturday morning cartoon.” –Peter Wilson, Jack Gregson and the Forgotten Portal

About the Author:

I’m an Australian, writing in my spare time.

Connect with Peter:

Goodreads
Amazon
Smashwords

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