Hollow City ( Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City

“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

Goodreads Blurb

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

Pancakes and Hollow City

Review

I fell in love with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and then I was blown away by Hollow City. It’s just such a different concept than anything out there. I was intrigued by the make of the book with the first one but the plot just got better in the second one.

The gang of Peculiar children have set out to save Miss Peregrine’s from permanently being stuck as a bird. They make their way to London in the 1940’s while also going in and out of different loops in search of another ymbryne to help save their headmistress. They stumble across a menagerie of peculiar animals, a group of darker peculiar children who’s loop is located in some catacombs of London’s seedy underground, and another peculiar child who is unaligned with any loop or ymbryne and her normal sister.

They must survive the war and bombs that are falling on London as they try and find Miss Wren, another ymbryne who may be their only hope. Then they must face the deceit of Miss Peregrine’s brother Caul, a wight who is trying to capture them and take their peculiar souls.

This book is action packed from the get-go. They are constantly trying to survive the Hollowgasts, war and wight soldiers, distrustful peculiars, and the fact they haven’t left their own loop in many, many years. Jacob learns to wield his power better and feels like he has found his place in the world but Emma makes him question himself when she implores him to go back to his own time for his safety and so that he can still be a part of his own family.

Their relationship, along with the bond of all the other peculiar children grows. They learn to lean on each other and they begin to test the limits of their special abilities. The book ends with almost as much trouble they were in, in the beginning of the book. But now it’s up to Jacob and Emma and the magical menagerie to save the peculiar children, the ymbrynes, their souls and the world from the wights and Hollowgasts who are even closer to making themselves Demigods. Their goal is to completely take over the modern world and have the normal people bow down to them.

And Jacob is left with the decision of staying and fighting or leaving to be with his family in the modern world. Can the peculiar children survive being in the modern world without a loop to keep them all from aging?

I gave this one 5/5 stars because it was awesome. I’m anxiously waiting for Library of Souls to come out in paperback so that I can add it to my collection.

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Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr

both tanyas

I have been following Tanya Burr on Youtube for several years now. Probably since 2012, my last year before I graduated college. I was a little late to the whole Youtube/Vlogger game. My best friend, Tabatha, always know about these things before I do so she is usually the one to introduce me to them. She showed me beauty bloggers on Youtube like Tanya Burr, Zoe Suggs (Zoella), and Ingrid Nilsen. Many of them since 2012 have expanded their videos to travel vlogs, baking videos, and DIY crafts for your home.

birthday goodies

(Picture of my birthday present from Tabatha before I opened it. And one of my cats, Pancakes, guarding them!)

Hands down, Tanya Burr is my favorite. I love watching and reading about her and her husband, Jim Chapman, who is also a Youtuber. He focuses on mens fashion and lifestyle vlogging. They have a cute little house in England in the city. They live with their tiny, Dachshund Martha. They have lots of friends whom they film with. Some are Youtube stars and some are just friends they’ve had since before Youtube.

Sometimes they travel to the US for different events and conventions but usually they are in England or traveling around to Greece, or other beachy areas. If she ever hosts a meet-up in Texas I’m so there! Come hell or high water!

In Love, Tanya she covers everything from her childhood, beauty, fashion, her struggle with anxiety, her cosmetics line, her relationship with her husband Jim, traveling,  how to be successful, baking, etc. Really it has everything! I couldn’t put the book down because I’ve loved watching her videos for years and I feel like I know so much more about her now.

She seems like such a genuinely kind person and has been so successful because she refused to give up. If she wasn’t happy doing something she still took that job and learned something positive from it and moved on to the next thing! Everything has just been a stepping stone to get her where she is today. I really felt more positive after reading Love, Tanya. 

love tanya

(Isn’t the birthday card great? It’s almost the best part. ALMOST. She also got me some of the new Lush jellies. Ones a citrus wash and the other one is cinnamon smelling and you’re supposed to use it after you work out because it’s tingly. I’ve only used the blue citrus one so far. And there’s a body butter lotion bar in the tin that also smells amazing.)

What’s unique about the book is that she’s added in Notes pages for the reader to record their thoughts so that you’re really interacting with the book. For example, after she talks about her childhood she lists 10 songs that remind her of growing up and then she has a page for you to list 10 songs that remind you of your childhood. There’s pages where you can write down your goals, beauty icons, memories, etc. I love it! I haven’t actually written in mine yet though because I feel like it may tarnish it if I write in it. It’s a great coffee table book! There’s lots of pictures and differing topics.

Ricardo then gave me Tanya Bakes. I think the first recipe I will be trying from there are her avocado brownies or her salted Nutella cookies! They look soooooooo good! I keep telling Ricardo he has to get me a red Kitchen-Aid now that he got me Tanya Bakes 😛 A girl can try right? Maybe my next birthday!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”
Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Mrs Peregrine 2

Goodreads Blurb

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Mrs Peregrine 1

Review

I did not want to read this book. My best friend loves it, but when it first came out I jugded it by it’s cover. I thought it looked creepy, or like a ghost story so I wanted nothing to do with it.

But then my team lead at school said she was wanting to read it in class with our kids. And teenagers usually do like creepier books so I thought I would go ahead and buy it and just try it out. Two things I realized, 1. I don’t think we will be able to read this in a 7th grade setting. There’s quite a bit of bad language. And 2. I loved this book. Not kind of liked it but LOVED it.

I feel guilty for not giving it a chance sooner. It’s not really that creepy. It’s interesting! It’s like nothing I have ever read or would have ever been able to think up. It’s almost like X-men meets Harry Potter with some time travel sprinkled in there. It’s a new, fresh idea that the YA world needed after all the vampire and then post-apoctalyptic fiction that has been the big thing for the past few years.

It was so interesting seeing Jacob grow throughout the book. When you first meet him he seems like a loser almost. Like all of his ambition died out when he was a kid when he decided not to believe in his grandfather’s stories about monsters and peculiar children. But then the unthinkable happens! He gets to go to the island his grandfather always talked about and meets the children from the photographs! What he struggles with at first is if they are real… He’s been through the traumatic experience of finding his grandfather murdered, been diagnosed with PTSD basically from a therapist, his parents and family treat him like he’s crazy, and his best friend doesn’t back up his story to the cops.

It really is a fantastic adventure he goes on. I love the setting of Cairnholm. In most stories the author wants a lavish, over the top setting but this one was understated and mysterious. I quite enjoyed it!

I finished the book midway through the trip and made Ricardo drive me out of the way in Virginia to the closest Barnes & Noble. Most of the states up North are different than Texas, or Dallas I should say. Everything up there is like an hour away! If you want Starbucks you have to drive pretty far, if you want to go to the bookstore be prepared to make the expedition across state lines, etc. It’s such a drive! But Virginia was very pretty and we took mini roadtrips to Philidelphia and Cleveland, Ohio to see the Rock ‘n’Roll Hall of Fame. But for the journey I needed Hollow City, the second book to Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

I’m about halfway done with it as of right now. I took a short break in reading in it because my best friend ordered me Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr from overseas. She’s a beauty, baking, and lifestyle vlogger/blogger from the UK. Then my husband ordered me her second book Tanya Bakes so I had to read that one as well.

Anyway, back to the topic! One of the most intriguing aspects of Ransom Riggs books is that he uses old, interesting photos that he’s found from flea markets and such to tell his story. He says it’s a hobby he had before he started writing to go around and find odd, old pictures and that he would wonder about the people in them. About their lives and where they came from but they’re all anonymous so there’s no way for anyone to actually know. That’s what gave him the idea to write Miss Peregrine’s. 

Most authors talk about how they dreamed the idea, or that they brainstorm to come up with plot ideas. He says he just lets the pictures help him do the story telling. I love that! What a unique way to write! I’m jealous I didn’t have the idea first.

I gave this book 5/5 stars. It’s got great character building, setting, new, fresh ideas, and action and adventure. What more could you want from a book!? And the exciting news is that it is being adapted into a film. Tim Burton is the director and it comes out at the end of September! It looks like they may be changing up some of the character rolls versus those in the book but it still looks interesting! I would read the book first though.

Magisterium: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Copper Gauntlet

“I don’t know,” Call said. He was starting to worry that there weren’t any good guys. Just people with longer or shorter Evil Overlord lists.”
Holly Black, The Copper Gauntlet

Goodreads Blurb

Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict — and a whole world’s fate.

Review

I’m a little behind on my reviews. We recently got back from a trip visiting my in-laws in Maryland in Virginia and I finished 2 books while we were there and a book once we got back. Since then, I have celebrated my 25th birthday and my best friend left and moved to San Diego, California with her boyfriend who is in the Navy 😦 AND we’ve been apartment hunting and signed on one two days ago.

So more book reviews coming within in the next few days! I finished The Copper Gauntlet, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and Love, Tanya by Youtuber Tanya Burr.

I enjoyed The Copper Gauntlet more than I enjoyed The Iron Trials. I think Callum Hunt is finally growing into himself. He’s still kind of complainy but the dynamic between he and his friends is great. I think the jealousy that Call has towards Aaron and Tamara is realistic for middle grade readers. It’s hard to be in a best friend trio! I can’t tell yet if there’s going to be a love triangle or not. It was odd how Aaron was living with Tamara and they didn’t tell Call, like when Hermione was staying with Ron in the Harry Potter books. Why not just say something? But then there was a moment towards the end of the book with her and Call. Or maybe I misread the signals. Maybe Black and Clare were just showing how close their friendship is.

The two aspects I enjoyed the most in this novel were Havoc, the chaos ridden wolf, because he’s cute and awesome! And the fact that they took Jasper deWinter with them. I knew he wasn’t all bad! You could see a sliver of goodness in him in this book and it was like he needed to find where he fit in too.

I’m still not sure if I believe that Call is Constantine Madden. If anything Constantine’s soul may be in Call but Call is still in there too. Call is too good and silly to be an evil mage. I think Master Rufus will have to guide him in the right direction. And I think the note Call’s mother left when she died is meant to be interpreted differently. It would be pretty awful is she was actually saying to kill her own child.

This book was more gruesome than the last one. It surprised me a little that they got away with some of the morbidness that’s in it for a middle grade novel. When they go to Master Joseph’s evil lair and the heads and bodies are left of dead child-mages from the Magisterium it was kind of gross and disturbing. I could see that being in a YA book but I could see some parents not liking that.

In the end, you find out that Aaron is not the only Makar. That Call possesses those powers too because he’s Constantine. I’m not sure where their relationship will go from there. Call is jealous of Aaron already most of the time. This may tear them apart. Or maybe Aaron’s kindness will have to balance Call’s weaker moments when he’s adding things to his Evil Overlord list. I will definitely be getting the next book in the series, The Bronze Key.

The Bronze Key

(Image thanks to Goodreads 😉

I think this cover is my favorite out of all of them! It’s supposed to come out at the end of August.