Review : Crystal Cadets #1 by Anne Toole and Katie O'Neille
Zoe is a shy girl, struggling to fit in at her new school, when she finds a mysterious gem left to her by her birth mother. All of a sudden, darkness-spewing dragons are chasing her down in the schoolyard, and a squad of crystal-wielding girls is there to save her! What does this mean for Zoe? Find out in the all-new Crystal Cadets #1
*E-copy provided by Publisher/Author in exchange for a honest review via NetGalley*
If you haven't guessed already, this is a fantasy graphic novel!
This is my first ever graphic novel and in the future I definitely will be trying more as I really enjoyed this one and it's inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone. I want to explore the graphic novel world! :) *If you have any recommendations then please leave them in the comments or on my Instagram (@sprinkle_of_books).*
Anyway, this graphic novel is about a girl called Zoe, pretty normal right? Well not for long! She finds a letter and a gem from her birth-mom, then she gets dragged into the group of Crystal Cadets, in which she helps fight the Darkness, It gets even cooler, because there are dragons, unicorns and other mythical creatures! As you can see its pretty epic!
I liked all the characters, but no one stood out more than Zoe. Not just because she was the main character (though that may have played a part in it), but because Zoe doesn't fit in at her new school, despite her many efforts to make friends - this hit me straight in the heart and I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Then as the story continues on, you get to watch Zoe grow as character, as she meets the Crystal Cadets, who she's been a part of her whole life. I can't wait to watch Zoe blossom even more as a character in the future issues.
The art style of the graphic novel, I quite simply loved. I loved the bright colours of the illustrations and I even loved the few pages, in which everything was black and white! Kat O'Neille did a great job with the illustrations!
Overall, I really loved the graphic novel itself and would definitely pickup future issues to carry on with the series. However, I hope that in the future issues we get more information on the character backgrounds and their personalities as the graphic novel was a bit vague when it came to that subject.
Great read - 3.75/5
Author Q&A With Amy Engel
Amy was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansa, California, Missouri, Washington, DC), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri where she lives with her husband and two kids. Before devoting herself full time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV. When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.
Can you give us a brief story about your writing career? (From abookwithbea on Instagram)
AE : Sure, I'll try and keep it short! I always wanted to be a writer, but I have a strong practical streak and that part of me won out for many years. It wasn't until I decided to quit my job as a lawyer and stay home with my kids that I decided to make a serious effort to get published. I wrote a YA novel and ended up trunking it after querying agents and not getting an offer of representation. The next book I wrote was IVY and I got more agent interest, but everyone seemed nervous about trying to sell a dystopian novel to publishers. I wasn't ready to give up on IVY , though, so I researched mid-size publishers who accepted unsolicited submissions and discovered Entangled Teen. I sent them IVY and within a couple of months they contacted me to let me know they loved the book and wanted to publish it. After IVY was published, I wrote an adult novel and went back into the query trenches and emerged with Jodi Reamer as my agent. She sold the adult novel to an imprint of Random House earlier this year. Hopefully that wasn't too long-winded!
Do you consider reading and writing similar? (From abookwithbea on Instagram)
AE : This is a really interesting question. For me they are similar in that I get lost in my own head when I'm both reading and writing. But in a general sense I wouldn't say that I consider them to be similar so much as I think reading is absolutely fundamental to the skill of writing and the first critical step to becoming a writer. I've never met a writer who didn't love to read. When people ask me about becoming a writer, I always tell them to start with reading, even in genres they aren't sure they'll like. Sometimes reading a book you hate teaches you as much about writing as reading one you love.
As a reader, what type of books do you like to read? (From book_maniacc on Instagram)
AE : A shorter list might be what type of books I DON'T like to read. I love YA novels that include some type of romance element. The romance doesn't have to be the main feature of the story, but there's something about YA love that I never get tired of reading. In adult books, my favourites are dark, character-driven books with a mystery, or suspense element. I'm a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, Stephen King, and Dennis Lehane. I also enjoy narrative non-fiction.
What was your inspiration for the character of Ivy?
AE : With Ivy, I wanted to write a character who was flawed, but capable of recognising her short-comings and learning and growing throughout the course of the series. I wanted to make sure Ivy came across as human. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but she's only 16, still feeling her way through the world and emerging from this very unhealthy cocoon her family has kept her trapped in. It was important to me that I try and make her decisions and feelings understandable, even if the reader doesn't always agree with them.
If you hadn't become an author, what would you have done instead?
AE : Well, I was a criminal defense attorney before I started writing full-time and I suppose I would go back to law if I wasn't successful as a writer. But I wouldn't be happy about it!
What is your favourite genre to write about and why?
AE : I really don't have a single favourite. I loved writing the IVY series. There's something really fun about writing YA, even the more serious parts of the book. But I also enjoyed writing my adult novel, which is very dark and suspenseful.
Do you have a writing routine, if yes then what is it?
AE : Sort of? I don't have a hard and fast routine, such as writing at the same time every day or for a specified amount of time. But I do write in the same spot (a comfy lather chair in the corner of my living room). I pop in my earbuds, get my cat settled on my legs, open up the MacBook and get to work. I'm able to write even if there are kids playing the xbox right next to me or other major chaos going on. If I waited for the perfect, quiet moment, I'd never get any writing done!
That was my Q&A with Amy Engel! I hope you guys enjoyed it and that you pick up Amy's books as they really are amazing!
I just want to thank Amy for agreeing to do the Q&A with me and thanks to Entangled Teen for forwarding my details to her - I'm really grateful!
Buy : The Book of Ivy - http://www.bookdepository.com/Book-Ivy-Amy-Engel/9781622664658
Pre - Order : The Revolution of Ivy - http://www.bookdepository.com/Revolution-Ivy-Amy-Engel/9781473629349
Birthday Book Haul!
My birthday was on October 16th and I mainly received books, so I thought I would do a separate blog post for them. As they were brought by other people, I'm not exactly sure of the pricing, but I know that a lot of them were purchased from our local Asda supermarket, as they had a lot of new releases in.
I just want to say that I'm not trying to brag in anyway shape or form and that I'm really grateful for the gifts that I received.
Anyway, let's get into it!
The first book (s) I received was - The Maze Runner Boxset!
This includes :
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (#1)
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (#2)
The Death Cure by James Dashner (#3)
The Kill Order by James Dashner (Prequel)
I then got - The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
Then I got - Username Evie by Joe Sugg
Next I got - Little Stars (Hetty Feather #5) by Jaqueline Wilson
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Demon Road by Derek Landy - This is actually what I'm currently reading!
Anyway that was all the books I got for my birthday! I got a total of 9 books and I'm really grateful for all of them. I've already read The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire so I'll leave a link to the review at the end (when I post the review) and I'm currently reading Demon Road (it's so good!).
Mini Review : The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire by Dan and Phil - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/mini-review-the-amazing-book-is-not-on-fire-by-dan-howell-and-phil-lester
Charity Shop Book Haul!
Recently, I had been seeing a lot of book hauls in which people had found some amazing books in their local charity shops. It really inspired me to check out my local charity shops to see what I could find and I found some really great books.
I could've easily walked out of the shops with a bag load of books but I decided to be sensible and only buy a few as I knew I would be receiving a load of books for my birthday - also I want to be able to control my beastly TBR pile.
Anyway, here is what I got!
The first thing I brought was a Doctor Who Book Box Set. I actually didn't buy it myself, my mum did as she had noticed I had been eyeing it up for quite a while but never had time to go in myself. I came home from school one day to find she had surprised me by buying the set for me!
I have never watched the Doctor Who TV Series, I know I'm ashamed. But when I saw there were books to go along with it, it made me really want to give them a go and maybe watch the show afterwards. The box set has 10 books, here they are :
The Clockwise Man by Justin Richards (#1)
The Stealers of Dreams by Steve Lyons (#2)
The Feast of the Drowned by Stephen Cole (#3)
The Resurrection Casket by Justin Richards (#4)
The Deviant Strain by Justin Richards (#5)
The Stone Rose by Jaqueline Rayner (#6)
The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker (#7)
The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole (#8)
Winner Takes All by Jaqueline Rayner (#9)
Only Human by Gareth Roberts (#10)
All 10 books together cost me £4.00! It's so cheap and also the books look like they've never been read!
The Host by Stephenie Meyer - £1.99 (Paperback)
If you've read my blog post called 10 Popular Series That I Haven't Read Yet (if not, I will leave a link at the end of the blog post so you can go and check it out!), then you'll know that I have never read a Stephenie Meyer book. Yep that's right, not even Twilight! Anyway, when I saw this at the Charity Shop, all the guilt came over me and I just had to buy it. Also, just like the Doctor Who Book Boxest, The Host was literally brand new - there is only a little crease on the back of the book where the cover got folded, otherwise the book is in brilliant condition.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling - £1.99 (Hardback)
As a lot of you probably know, I have not read the Harry Potter series! However, I'm working on changing that. I'm planning on reading them (well, starting them anyway) around Christmas time, so I can dedicate my whole time to them. I don't think I will be reading the whole series over Christmas Break as I have a list of other book I want to read/re-read and the break only lasts two weeks. I'm going to try and cram as much reading as possible into those two weeks!
Anyway, I have only a few of the books in the series and I really wanted to have them in matching covers. However, they no longer make them in the cover design which I have, so the only way to get them would be second-hand and luckily they had this one in the charity shop. It was so cheap as well, which made me feel less bad about purchasing it. I'm now only missing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince so I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled!
That is all the books I found in my local charity shop! I really recommend that you try and use your local charity shops as they are mainly really cheap and though you might not expect, you can also find some really great books. Also, all the money goes to charities, such as Cancer Research, The British Heart Foundation, etc.
10 Popular Series That I Haven't Read - http://sprinkleofbooks.weebly.com/blog/10-popular-series-that-i-havent-read
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