A Look at My Bookshelf #5

Hello, it's . . . Saturday??!! Already??!!?? Where has the week gone?!

Well, I still managed to finish up one book, start another, and read three more. Let's take a look, shall we?

I finished . . .

The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1), by John Flanagan
I have two main issues with this book: 1) way too much telling and nearly no showing and 2) way too predictable. Nothing in the book felt fresh or unique to me except maybe the Solitary Plain and the Stone Flutes. It felt stale, overused.
However, I did enjoy the characters, especially Halt, although all of them could have been deepened developed so, so, so much more. (Hmm, character development . . . I think I foresee a Thursday post on this.)

I started . . .

The Ship Beyond Time, by Heidi Heilig
Image result for the ship beyond time

I'm not very far through, but so far I'm enjoying it! I loved the first book, The Girl from Everywhere, so I decided to try out the second book. I love the characters, I love the originality, I love the unpredictability! I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.

I read . . .

The House at 758, by Kathryn Berla
Image result for the house at 758

I enjoyed this book, even though the first half depressed me (the main character, Krista, handled her grief really poorly and made some horrible decisions. I guess if she hadn't, though, there wouldn't have been any story). I liked how the author tied together Krista's story and her grandpa's; I just wish the connection had been stronger.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, Book 2), by Trenton Lee Stewart
Image result for the mysterious benedict society book 2

Wow that title was long!
Even though this series is Middle Grade, it manages to appeal to all ages. The characters aren't as deep or complex as characters in Young Adult or Adult fiction, of course, but they are still delightful to be with and that's a win for me. I liked the first book in the series better, but this book was still wonderful! I'm planning on continuing the series.

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, Book 1), by Chris Colfer
Image result for the wishing spell

This was fast-paced, creative, and fun. I don't think I'll keep reading the series, however, for several reasons:
1) All the supporting characters blended into one another, especially the various kings and queens; the only characters who had truly defined personalities were Alex and Conner.
2) It was predictable. I enjoyed the twists on the original fairytales (a lot; I love fairytales!), but even so I didn't feel like the main plot really pulled out anything new.
3) The writing wasn't the best. For Middle Grade, it was fine, but it could have been better. There seemed to be a lot of telling/narration; there were long chunks where characters were just telling their entire backstory.
4) I felt like I was being bludgeoned with morals. The morals were great!! The book made me look at a couple fairytales in new ways. But they were just a bit too obvious.
Overall, it was a fun read.

Have you read any of these? Tell me what you're reading!


  1. I keep wanting to read the Heidi Heilig series. I must do so soon.

  2. I keep forgetting about that series by Heidi Heilig! :/ I read the first book and have been meaning to pick up the second for ages--I hope you enjoy it!
    I really love The Mysterious Benedict Society book! Trenton Lee Stewart is an awesome author, I highly recommend this latest book The Secret Keepers if you haven't read it. I totally agree on the Land of Stories book as well--it's a really fun and entertaining story, but the writing is a bit lacking and it's super cliche'd at times. Still, it's imaginative and I've read several in the series.

    1. I enjoyed the first book more, but The Ship Beyond Time was amazing too!
      I'll keep The Secret Keepers in mind! Thank you!

  3. Ohh this seems like a great combo of books you're reading and have recently read!! I LOVE The Girl From Everywhere duology! They're so clever and unique right?! Also I may or may not want a time-travelling pirate ship now. πŸ˜‚Don't we all...πŸ˜‚

    1. I loved this duology! It kept me so engaged and I loved that I had no idea what was coming next. I think I'll settle for a regular pirate ship, though. Adding the time traveling element might be a bit much for me to handle.

  4. Hi Comment Partner! I'm excited to be paired with you. Stewart's title is a bit long but so charming just like the books. My son has read this entire series and loves it!

    1. I'm excited as well!
      I agree with your son: these books are fantastic!


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