Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The WishKeeper by Maximilian Timm

The WishKeeper by Maximilian Timm
Self Published on October 17th 2013
354 Pages
I received this courtesy of Maximilian Timm in return for an honest review.
The WishKeeper tells the story of a fairy named Shea and how her broken wings and inability to fly have kept her from being the one thing she always wanted to be - a WishKeeper.We, WishMakers, all have a WishKeeper assigned to us that protects and guides our wishes to fulfillment. Teenage, broken-winged Shea is determined to become one.Shea is a rebellious, punk rock dressed, tattooed teenage fairy with two mangled wings that draw ugly stares more often than sympathy. She is not looking for sympathy though, and would rather break a WishKeeper's pointed nose than accept an understanding pat on her handicapped back. Living with her disability for most of her angry life has kept Shea out of the Keeper force and therefore a loner (which she is perfectly fine with...or so she says). Until the day her family WishMakers, Grayson and Miranda, made a second True Love Wish, she was barely a blip on a WishRadar. The last time a True Love Wish was made, her mother destroyed it and in turn, Shea's life.All Shea wants is to prove herself - despite her disability, despite her anger, resentment and the all-too obvious chips on her shoulders - that she can be better than any WishKeeper. She sneaks off to the human world with the naive intent to wrangle a type of wish even the most skilled Keeper barely can. She's entitled, selfish, and has only one intention: wrangle a True Love Wish no matter the consequence.Further annoying her, a WishKeeper recruit named Thane is tasked by her military father to babysit her, or at least that's how Shea sees it. Through their impossible adventure in a land Shea had only ever dreamed about, she battles the difficult discovery of painful family secrets, a wish-mongering ex-king and his cursed zombie-like fairies, and the acceptance of her parents' imperfections as well as her own.
What is a better way to celebrate International Fairy day then to read a kick arse book that provides a take on fairy mythology.  After reading The WishKeeper I honestly don’t have much to say about this other than it has a really wonderful story arc and that I just love fairy books.

So to talk about the story arc a little is a very fun task because The WishKeeper as I said above provides a new take on the ‘little person with wings that fly around’ idea. Shea Evenstar is one of the most bad arse fairies I’ve ever had the awesome pleasure to read. Now Shea is really such a wonderful character because she has a disability compared to the other characters but she doesn’t let it hold her back at all.

A positive that came of Shea’s winglessness was most definitely Thane. He is a young want to be WishKeeper who is given the task by Beren, Shea’s father who happens to be the commander to look after Shea.  You really couldn’t get a sweeter or kinder character than Thane and I just love him for it.

My only criticism for The WishKeeper would be that at time it could be rather confusing as to what really was happening or who was who as a lot of characters were named.

Luckily enough to cerebrate International Fairy Day Max has granted my wish of letting me share part of the first chapter of The WishKeeper. Hopefully you will all snag a copy while its on sale for today for $1.09 which is completely worth it!

Goggles, Goggled 

Ten Years Ago

“Wings tucked, Private!” Shea’s mother playfully ordered.
The frozen sap of the evergreen clung to Shea’s bare feet as if the icy tree was trying to keep her in one place. It was Wishing Eve in the Makers’ world - The Other Side, as the WishKeepers called it. A night when all WishKeepers would leave their secret world of Paragonia and cross through the Gates to tend to their WishMakers in celebration of opportunity; the opportunity to collect millions of wishes and sustain the harmony between their world and the Makers’. It was the most important night of the year, but for Shea, it was a night that would define her.
It was the night a True Love Wish was destroyed. It was the night her wings were ripped from her delicate shoulders. It was the night her mother died. And the sap of the evergreen tugged at her toes, begging her not to move. She should have listened.
She played along with her mother’s orders as Elanor stood in front of her little fairy daughter, fists at her hips.
“Check! Yes, ma’am,” Shea replied, standing upright and tucking her wings straight behind her.
“Goggles goggled?” her mother asked, stern.
Shea adjusted oversized aviator goggles around her eyes, “Check!”
“Wishes made?”
“Wishes granted!” she said as she stiffened a salute at her forehead.
Shea eyed an identical smile that rimmed her mother’s lips as the setting sun of The Other Side silhouetted Elanor’s graceful wings.
“I have to go to work,” Elanor said with a deep breath. It was her daughter’s first time on The Other Side, and Shea could sense that her mom regretted not being able to stay with her all night.
Shea loved the feeling of the slow, gentle swipe of her mother’s fingers as they gently tickled her forehead, moving the thick red mane out of her eyes. Despite never wanting to admit it, there was an immeasurable eagerness within Shea’s little body to become her mother. Every ounce was desperately impatient to be just like her. Shea watched her mom buzz her wings and prep for a quick launch.
“Hey…Mom?” Shea stopped her. She felt compelled to say something, but the words dangled from her tongue.
Elanor waited for one last peep from her eager daughter.
“I…I mean. Never mind.” Shea smiled, bashful.
“I won’t be long,” she said, noticing the eagerness of adolescence pouring from her daughter’s eyes. “You are going to be a wonderful WishKeeper someday. But it’s not today, honey. Please…promise me you’ll stay here.”
Little Shea nodded as wishes darted through the park behind Elanor. The impulse to fly after each and every one of them was overwhelming as Shea watched her mother zoom out of the tree and into the sea of colorful wishes. Purple, blue, pink and green - the wishes danced and darted through the park. Their playfulness was intoxicating. The evergreen did its best to keep her little feet stuck to its branch, but as much as she wanted to be a good fairy and follow her mother’s orders, Shea couldn’t deny her innate impulse to explore.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Book Review:Summer on the Short Bus - Bethany Crandell

Pub. Date- April 1st 2014 Publisher- Running Press Teens
 Pages- 256 Genre- Contemporary/YA
Goodreads - Book Depository

Cricket Montgomery has been thrown under the short bus. Shipped off to a summer camp by her father, Cricket is forced to play babysitter to a bunch of whiny kids—or so she thinks. When she realizes this camp is actually for teens with special needs, Cricket doubts she has what it takes to endure twenty-four hours, let alone two weeks.Thanks to her dangerously cute co-counselor, Quinn, there may be a slim chance for survival. However, between the campers’ unpredictability and disregard for personal space, Cricket’s limits get pushed. She will have to decide if suffering through her own handicapped hell is worth a summer romance—and losing her sanity.

Usually I’m all for thick books, the thicker the better in my opinion but Summer on the Short Bus takes that idea and proves me wrong. Taking a strong and completely blunt approach Bethany Crandell makes light in a positive way of how people can be completely uninformed about something out of their comfort zone, in Cricket’s case people with special needs. She honestly and oh so wittily tells a truthful tale about a young spoiled girl who learns to put others first and just generally become less of a nitwit.

So to get it right off the bat, Cricket isn’t the most endearing character but she is so well written terrible personality was completely natural to her, the book would have felt completely wrong if she wasn’t so shocking. Yeah, she was bratty, spoiled and so politically incorrect I but not enough to ever hate her or feel as though everything negative she said is just to be nasty. I’ve seen a lot of reviews bashing this book for being oh so incorrect but that is what makes it for me. Nothing is barred in this; there is no censorship of an uninformed young girl. Crandell writes about what I’m sure most people have thought at least once in their life, be maybe a more informed but still something that we wouldn’t say allowed. It really at times makes you feel uncomfortable in your skin with the way things are phrased only to be laughing at a hilarious joke the next minute.

The true beauty of Summer on the Short Bus is how quirky and hilarious it is, when looking past the all the faux pas Cricket makes, she and all the other character in this book are so funny in their own ways. Fantine made me crack up so many times with her sarcasm and Quinn being a Zac Efron look alike was just pure gold.

There were parts that I didn’t think were the best, but I wasn’t really fazed by them until I started to reflect more deeply on the book and everything in it. One was how quickly Quinn and Crickets relationship developed and was used to resolve everything but in such a short book it isn’t like there is 300 pages for them to become friends and get to know each other so I could come to terms with the pretty quickly. The relationship isn’t instalove level but it was getting close. Another problem was that I wish that there time to learn more about all the other characters! I ended up loving them all so much that I just wanted to know everything and see them all be as fully developed as characters as Cricket.

This could be taken as an offensive book but when read with an open mind and a liking for sarcasm I think it really gives everyone a chance to learn something new about people in general and how easy change can come about. I highly suggest you read this to see just how Cricket changes from the nitwit she was at the start.

Summer on the Short Bus is just want I picture when I think of a literal Summer, on a Short Bus (something we don’t have in Australia, the short buses not summer) Just a small space filled with fun, learning and happiness. Not quiet this isn’t an unrealistic perfect summer but still a 5 star book in my eyes. I’ve already told Bethany Crandell she can have my soul if I can be put on any list that comes up for her next book I liked it that much.

Monday, 2 June 2014


So last month I made a post about being accountable for my reading and wrote a nice list and made a pretty stack of books that I wanted to read over the month. Did that happen? No. Out of the four books I set I read one. I loved the one I read but other than that I read whatever I wanted over the month in my normal wishy-washy fashion. In the original post I spoke about being accountable for my reading and now I’m wondering if I went about it the completely wrong way. 

Knowing that I had set myself certain books to read I was able to fob them off saying you don’t have to read that till the end for the month so why start now and does it really matter if you don’t. I think for most people having a set list to follow would make them follow it but for me, I love to procrastinate every thing, including stuff I set for myself.

Lisa is my list and Bart is my brain

My next planning that I’m going to try this month is to set myself a number of books to read not an actually list that is set in stone.  In May I read nine books over the course of the month which is a lot for me so for June I’m going to try and read eight as a minimum. Hopefully two books a week will be achievable and my experiment will work. I will be carrying on with my TBR Jar idea but lets be honest I think I failed this month. Do any of you follow a set list or do you just read what you like? Do you keep yourself accountable in any so you don’t slack off or is that not problem for you? 

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