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Friday, December 11, 2015


by A. C. Gaughen

Reviewed by
Elizabeth Mosolovich

            Meet Will Scarlet, one of the newer members of disgraced noble-turned-outlaw Robin Hood's band. Adept at hiding and scaling castle walls, he uses these skills to steal for the oppressed people of Nottingham as well as his own survival, but despite the friendliness of Robin's band, Will still keeps many a secret close to his heart.

            Now meet Scarlet, the spitfire of a girl whose biggest secret is that she is Will Scarlet's true identity, a fact only Robin and his band know – the only thing, in fact, they know about Scarlet at all; everything else – her name, her past, her true feelings for a certain outlaw – she keeps hidden, even from the reader. Haunted by her past and so suspicious of everyone, Scarlet tries to keep everyone at bay.

            But when a monster from her past comes to Nottingham at the sheriff's request in order to  claim Robin's head, Scarlet must determine how much the life she thought she didn't want – the life she thought she didn't deserve – means to her. She must break down her walls and place her trust in her friends, if any of the are going to survive.

            Scarlet is a fast-paced, highly-addictive and incredibly unique twist on the Robin Hood Tale. It is told from Scarlet's point of view, though it still takes a while to figure out her motives and separate her truths from lies; her speaking, and thus narrating style are very 12-century peasant-like – for example, using "I were" instead of "I was" – but one gets used to the style after a while, and it lends some authenticity to the book.

            Overall, I enjoyed this book very much, and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys strong heroines, adventure, historical fiction, and, of course, Robin Hood. And if you like Scarlet, you can also check out its two sequels, Lady Thief and Lionheart.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Princesses of the Midnight Ball 
By Jessica Day George

Reviewed by Elizabeth Mosolovich
            Far beneath in the Kingdom Under Stone, a desperate queen makes a deal with King Under Stone to end the war between her nation and their neighboring country. King Under Stone agrees and sends the queen away, wish granted. But such wishes come with a price, and as the queen gives birth to a total of twelve beautiful daughters, the King Under Stone dreams of a world upon which the sun shines, and schemes how to gain access to it.

            Eighteen years later, Rose, the eldest daughter of King Gregor and the late Queen Maude of Westfalen, and her eleven younger sisters are all forced to take on their mother's debt and dance every night in morose balls in the Kingdom Under Stone, paired with the cold and cruel half-human sons of King Under Stone. As the sisters go through their days incredibly fatigued and with tattered dance slippers, their father decides to get to the bottom of things and offers any prince who can solve the mystery of the dance slippers the hand of the princess of his choosing. But when the princes keep turning up dead, accusations of witchcraft abound and the sisters are threatened from all sides.

            Enter Galen, a former soldier finally returning home from war to stay with his aunt and uncle. Finding work in the palace gardens, he soon learns of the king's contest and, after meeting Princess Rose, he decides to try and help the sisters. Using a magic cloak he received from  an old woman he met on the road and, with some help from the kind and mysterious head gardener, Galen enters the strange and oppressive world of the Kingdom Under Stone. Armed with his courage, intelligence, knitting needles, and the princesses' own determination, Galen attempts to rescue the sisters and destroy the Kingdom Under Stone once and for all.

            This was a magical book, told in the alternative voices of Rose and Galen. An exciting and beautiful retelling of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," Princesses of the Midnight Ball teems with adventure, romance, magic, helpful wizards and a villainous sorcerer, all set in a fictional version of Germany. It has a good pace and everything is easy to understand without being oversimplified. I highly recommend this for those who enjoy fantasy and adventure, and if you enjoy this, you will certainly enjoy its two sequels, Princess of Glass, based on "Cinderella", and Princess of the Silver Woods, a thrilling retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Eye Contact
by Cammie McGovern

Reviewed by
Nicole Valladares

Eye Contact is a novel written by Cammie McGovern.  It takes place in a simple town
with regular, everyday people. However, there are some extraordinary children in that town
with parents that try their best to give them what they deserve in life. Within one of those
groups of children we are introduced to Adam, a nine-year-old who has an amazing sense of
hearing, and is a witness to a murder. Everything should be fairly easy, since all Adam has to
do is tell the police who committed the murder. But he can't, because Adam is autistic.
Cara, his mother, is the only one who can coax the answer out of him.

 It is not as easy as it sounds. Adam is a very special child- only time can tell what will happen.
Of course mother does know best, but when another child goes missing it wears on Cara's
nerves, making her desperate for answers. And when questions are answered, only more
questions come to light, and some of those questions were not what Cara was expecting to
want answers to.

Eye Contact is a book that just shows the reader how much love a mother has for
her child. The book is exhilarating, mysterious, and even with its thrilling plot there are
some points that can make you laugh and hiccup with emotion.
Cara was a young mother, and being a mother is extremely difficult. Even with a child
who does not need special attention. But Cara had that challenge and she hurdled through
it, even though she cried, and she lost important people along the way. She just had to be
there, for her child and for herself.