on Jun 30, 2012
Hi everyone! It's Melanie. I will be out of town from the 3rd to the 13th for a vacation. If you do want to contact me to send me a book to review, please don't be offended if I don't answer- I don't know if I will have internet access. I will be sure to respond when I get back.
on Jun 25, 2012

Rating: 4/5 stars
I was really excited to read this book because it was sent to me by the author for reviewing. In short, the story covers a boy named Caleb, who is a troll (yes, when I first read this, I admit I laughed a bit) going to middle school. He has a friend (Josie) who is a water sprite, so he isn't alone in that sense. However, there are 2 vampires at his school who cause him nothing but trouble because vampires hate trolls. The vampires turned the humans into zombies to find a stone which will allow them to rule the world. It's up to Caleb and Josie to save everyone.

This story is written in a diary format (Caleb's teacher gives them journals to write in for a grade), which I really, really like. In fact, there are sort of 2 stories going on. One is for the teacher to read, which covers his average, middle school life. The other is for our eyes only, and goes into detail about the monster problems-the main focus in the book. This was really creative.

The story was fun, but quite short-136 pages long. I finished it in about 2 days, but went back and "analyzed" it. The ending, for me was a bit slow-you know that they will fix the problem-but then it is revealed that the teacher, Ms. Hinkmeyer is a monster and was sent to retrieve the stone. She ends up saving Caleb (who is the Stone Master), which brought a nice twist in the story for the end.

The only (mild) thing that I didn't like was that until the end, it was pretty straightforward. I would have liked some more twists and surprises.

This story would be best for, in my opinion, 10-14 year olds because it covers themes that they could relate to, such as bravery, change, trust, and confidence.
on Jun 13, 2012
Cedar McLeod lives an ordinary but lonely life, raising her six-year-old daughter Eden on her own while trying to balance the demands of her career and the expectations of her mother. Everything seems normal until the day Eden opens her bedroom door and finds herself half a world away – and then goes missing. Suddenly, Cedar realizes her daughter is anything but normal. 

In a desperate search for answers, Cedar tries to track down Eden’s father, who mysteriously disappeared from her life before Eden was born. What she discovers is far beyond anything she could have imagined. As she joins unlikely allies in the hunt for her daughter, Cedar becomes torn between two worlds: the one she thought she knew, and one where ancient myths are real, the stakes are impossibly high, and only the deepest love will survive

Genre: Fantasy

Review: Loved it! The book follows Cedar and her daughter, Eden as they discover they're not who they thought they were.

I loved all the Celtic mythology in the book and the whole 'door' concept was also awesome. I really liked the fact that Cedar had a daughter. Obviously a big part of the story but most of the books I read never have the main characters have children. So I thought that made the story unique from the very beginning.

I don't want to give too much away but when this one character showed up, I literally jumped up and yelled 'Yes', which earned me some very strange looks from the neighbors as I was reading on my porch at the time. I loved the whole cast of characters and I found Cedar to be a very likeable main character. I would have prefered a little more time between Finn and Cedar but the book is fantasy not romance so I understood.

It did get a little annoying in the beginning when Cedar didn't know what was going on and the other characters kept reminding her of that, but I suppose if I'm angry with some characters then I'm really invested in the story. :)

And the ending, well I'll let you read for yourself. ;)

About the Author:
Jodi McIsaac grew up in New Brunswick, on Canada's east coast. After abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a premier, volunteered in a refugee camp, waited tables in Belfast, and earned a couple of university degrees. She now runs a boutique copywriting agency in Vancouver, B.C., where she lives with her husband and two feisty daughters.

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab 
on Jun 1, 2012
Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely: Stories about Love, Life, Death and Discovery from an American in South Korea

Genre: Nonfiction

Rating 5/5 Stars

SynopsisImagine leaving behind everybody and everything familiar to live in a foreign country where you don't speak the language and don't know a soul. Worst yet, you look different from everybody there. People find your cultural norms insulting, and you can't get a date to save your life.

Imagine you wrote a book about your time there...

Eating Kimchi and Nodding Politely is a collection of snapshots that cover the two years that Alex Clermont lived in the country of South Korea as an English teacher. Scribed with a flair for humor, emotion, character and depth, these introspective narratives do more than act as a travel guide. They are creatively written windows into the life of of someone discovering new things about himself, the world, and the people who he shares it with- all while stuffing his mouth with kimchi.

Let me just start by saying that I read this in one day, seriously it was that good. I think one of the biggest compliments you can give an author is to say that their book was so good that you couldn't put it down.

This is a collection of narratives based on Alex's time teaching English in South Korea. I don't usually read nonfiction but I'm glad that I made this exception. The stories are honest and interesting, they follow a daily life that's full of new places and colorful people. The book contains seventeen different stories. Some of the them are happy, some are sad, and some just make you laugh out loud.

This was a pleasure to read. :)

About the Author:
Alex Clermont is a writer born and raised in New York City. He has a BA in English creative writing from Hunter College and has been an English teacher for the past several years. Visit