Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut, ARC review

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Del Toro Moon

Author: Darby Karchut

Pages: 256

Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure

Rating: 4,5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Summary:

“Ride hard, swing hard, and take out as many of those creepy critters as you can.”
Twelve year old Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in his family’s centuries-old business: riding down and destroying wolf-like monsters, known as skinners. Now, with those creatures multiplying, both in number and ferocity, Matt must saddle up and match his father’s skills at monster whacking. Odds of doing that? Yeah, about a trillion to one. Because Matt’s father is the legendary Javier Del Toro—hunter, scholar, and a true caballero: a gentleman of the horse.
Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend—El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains.
Serious horse power.
Those skinners don’t stand a chance.

Review:

 

“Back then, belief in things skewed toward the mythical end of the spectrum was acceptable. Somewhat. But with each new generation, humans find it harder to believe.””I frowned.”Believe in monsters, you mean?””And in heroes.”

At first, I was captured by the cover, and I realize only after reading the first pages why: it’s realized by the talented Risa Rodil.

Isn’t a beatiful cover? I like it so much!

Do you know what I love in a book? Talking animals, maybe a little sassy too, and friendship between humans and animals. And nerd quotes.

I must confess I wasn’t very interested for the first 2/3 chapters. We are transported directly in the plot, without a lot of informations. Then suddenly we read of this amazing friendship between caballeros and war-horses, expecially between Matt and El Cid.

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So, everytime El Cid speak, I fell in love more and more with the characters and the story.

Del Toro Moon is a middle grade story with a lot of adventures, a touch of history and myth, friendship and family relations, a main character who has flaws and fears, who is actually a nerd (there are a lot of LOTR quotes and reference) and a little touch of horror, thanks to the skinners.

The setting is very captivating, with a lot of descriptions, but in the beginning I mistaken the time setting: I was convinced it was set during the “Far West/Gold rush” period, until I found out the first LOTR reference.

The characters are well done: the horses are wise and sassy, protective and so brave; Javier has done a great job with his sons; Matt is so cute, he’s my favourite along with El Cid. I must advise you that at one point during my reading I was crying. Prepare yourself.

The ending is all right, but now I want another book, maybe a prequel with the family’s centuries-old business and the ancestor of Matt; and a sequel too, with Matt and another character I can’t tell you without spoiler!

Thanks to Netgalley and Owl Hollow Press for this book. I received for free in exchange of a honest review.

 

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My most read authors

I saw this post on a couple of different blogs, so I check my goodreads page and here’s my Most Read Authors!

If you click on the name, you can find the Goodreads Author page.

In the past years I read a lot of mangas. And I means a lot. 499 books, to be honest.joey-not-even-sorry

And that’s why the first 7 authors are all mangaka. The first 2 are:

1) Clamp with 56 books.

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56 books???!!! I’m surprised too! My favourite series are Kobato and Chobits. The characters in the Clamp books has always beatiful costumes.

2) Kazuya Minekura with 39 books.

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Saiyuki, and the spin-off of this series are my fave series of all the time. I discovered mangas and all the world of comics (cosplay and comic conventions, etc…) thanks to this manga. I love with all my heart, but it’s Saiyuki Gaiden that has break my heart in tiny little pieces.

The first author of books in my chart is:

R.L. Stine with 28 books.

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I still have at my home my collection of Goosebumps books. At elementary school, I was the only girl who was reading horror and mystery books. I hated the “classic books for girls” like Pollyanna and The secret garden.

Neil Gaiman with 21 books.

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Sorry Mr. Gaiman, I tought I read more books written by you, but you are 11th in my GR chart. (But I love your books, you know!)

Coraline and Neverwhere are my favourite books!

Banana Yoshimoto: 10 books.

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I’ve read and loved a lot of Yoshimoto’s books, like “Umi no futa” and “Arcobaleno” (sorry, I can’t find the translated title!), but I didn’t like all her books.

What are your most read authors?

Do you read manga too?

 

I spy book challenge

I saw this funny challenge on MelToTheAny blog, and I immediately decided to do it, even if I am not tagged!

The rules: Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!

1) Food

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2) Transportation

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3) Weapon

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4) Animal

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5)Number

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6)Something you read

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7)Body of Water

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8)Product of fire

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9)Royalty

Young girl with a crystal ball

10)Architecture

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11)Clothing item

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12)Family member

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13)Time of day

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Inkdeath

14)Music

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15)Paranormal being

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16)Occupation

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17)Season

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Shadowed summer

18)Color

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19)Celestial body

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20)Something that grows

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Wow, that’s a lot of books!! The Wonder has a wonderful cover, along with Hand and Talon. I can’t wait to read it!

Inkdeath has the italian title, because “Alba” means dawn!


June 2018 Wrap Up

And also June has passed! How was your reading month?

I read lesser than the past month, only 8 books, and 3 were in italian.

But look! A lot of amazing covers! And I love most of the books, only Maplecroft was a disappointement.

Maplecroft, Cherie Priest: I’ve watched The Lizzie Borden Chronicles on Netflix, and I love Christina Ricci. She’s amazing in the series, so I decided to read Maplecroft, based on the same characters, but the Lovecraftian turn has disappointed me. I was bored, and totally not afraid. 2 stars.

The long way to a small, angry planet, Becky Chambers: I don’t like sci-fi books, I’m sorry. I fell in love with the characters, but the plot was boring. 3 stars.

Chronicles of Steele: Raven, Episode one, Pauline Creeden: An interesting fantasy, with an original main characters, with a dark and misterious past. But I didn’t find the steampunk part, and it’s a shame, because I love steampunk books! 3 stars.

The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate: I know in advance that this book will made me cry a river, and that’s it. I cried every two pages, but it’s one of the best books I ever read. 5 stars!

Bring me their Hearts, Sara Wolf: this book is fantastic, with a range of unforgettable characters, full of emotions and sassy dialogues. Definitely a 5 stars for me!

What’s your favourite cover? I’m undecided between The One and Only Ivan and Bring me their hearts!

Mid-Year Freak out Book tag

Half year is passed, and still I have a lot of books to read! My challenge on Goodreads is going well: I’m 11 book ahead of schedule!

1.Best Book You’ve Read This Year?

 

 

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2. Best Sequel You’ve Read in 2018?

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The italian edition of “No time like show time”.

 

 

 4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year?

I didn’t read a lot of new release, but I recently been approved on Netgalley for this book, and I’m happy because Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hide is one of my fave classic.37827590

 

 


5. Biggest Disappointment?

The alienist was a disappointement for the tv series too. (But I always love Luke Evans)

 


6. Biggest Surprise?

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7. Favorite New To You Or Debut Author?

Sara Wolf is definitely in my list of new favourite authors, along with Katherine Applegate and Tone Almhjell.


9. Newest Favorite Character?

Princess Olive from The Ugly Princess is amazing!

Zera from Bring me their Hearts is also amazing and sarcastic, along with Malachite.

Rufus and Lin from The Twistrose Key and Ivan and Ruby from The One And Only Ivan!

 


10. Book That Made You Cry?


11. Book That Made You Happy?


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14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year?

 

 


15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of the Year?

All of them?

Frankly, I need to read at least 100 books this year, or else I need a new home.

 

Fortunately, the first giveaway of the blog!

Hello! How’s everyone doing? The summer is here, I reached 100 followers here on the blog (106 now that I write this post) and the blog has survived the first six months of his life.

Thanks to all of you! I’m so happy for this milestone!

So it’s time for a giveaway!!!!

DWYESAn year ago, I opened an etsy shop with my bookmarks. Now the shop it’s closed, but you can find most of my creation on the Instagram page The Other Bookmark.

This giveaway is international and there will be two winners, selected by a random generator. The winners can choose the bookmark they want to receive.

The rules:

  • You must follow my blog and comment down below with your blog’s name
  • You must comment this post saying you’re partecipating and leave me an email address to contact you
  • By partecipating, you agree to share with me your mail address.
  • Optional: you can follow my Instagram account here and/or The Other Bookmark account (please tell me your username)
  • Optional: tell me what’s your favourite bookmark! If you win, you can change your mind, don’t worry!
  • Please take note: the bookmarks are made with origami paper, but I’m not a professional, so maybe there are little imperfections.
  • Bookmarks will be send with italian shipping post (yes, I know we have a bad reputation) so please have patience!
  • The giveaway run from today, 21th of June 2018, to the 6th of July 2018.
  • I will contact the winners within 24 hours. If they don’t reply, I will contact another winner.
  • The blue and purple flower is no longer available.

Ok, I think that’s all! May the Odds be ever in your favor!

Review Blog Tour: Bring Me Their Hearts, by Sara Wolf

 

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Bring Me Their Hearts
Author:  Sara Wolf
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Pages: 400

Rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon.

Summary:

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally. 

Review:

“There are two things men will always believe about a woman: that she’s stupid, and that she’s weak. Today, as every day, I am neither of these things.”

This book is amazing, goes directly to my best reading of 2018 and one of the best fantasy/YA I ever read!

We have Zera, an Heartless who wants to take back her heart from the witch who keeps her heart in a jar and use her as a soldier. She can’t died, but she can’t step away from her heart neither. We have a Prince and we have a world full of perils, a world well described with the locations, the story of the past and its religion. A world with “medieval” inspiration but with some touch of magic, horror and fantasy.

Apart the cover, that I love so much because the dress seems like moving, my favourite part of the book is Zera. She’s a great main character: her life was and is currently tormented by her past, her life without a heart is miserable and she’s agonizing for a human touch.

But no one will ever touch her, or walk with her, if they know she’s a Heartless. A monster.

But Zera is also a very sarcastic and intelligent girl. I loved every single dialogue in this book. The best dialogues are, obviously, between her and the Prince. I laughed so hard with the dialogues, and sometimes I was crying because the author has done a great job to make the reader feel what Zera feel.

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She’s tormented: she has to do what she wants (take her heart back), or she has to do what is right by take the prince heart and probably prevent a war between witches and humans?

It’s right to let another human suffer what she suffers?

And a special mention to all the other characters: I’m totally in love with Malachite, the bodyguard of the Prince, strong, intelligent and sarcastic, but you have to believe me that every character in this book is interesting and well descripted.

It’s really a page turner, with no dead times, and I always appreciated that, because I get bored very easily.

I’m a little doubtful about the ending: I was expecting a more dramatic or a happier ending, and I was in a little shock for the cliffhanger.

And now, something that I never do: please, I need the second book right now!

Thanks to Ya Bound Book Tours for this opportunity. I received a free copy in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as Lovely Vicious. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

 

Author Links:
Website: http://sarawolfbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sara_Wolf1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/authorsaraw/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorsarawolf/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sara-Wolf-476490705731978/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862831.Sara_Wolf
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Wolf/e/B00BVOVP08/

 

Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

 

 

May 2018 Wrap Up

Hello! Another month as come and go, how was your reading month?

Except for A head Full of Ghost, the other books are all novellas/short books. That’s because in May I read (in italian) two books with more than 500 pages: Gone girl and Jessica’s guide to dates the dark side.

What lies below by Andrenik Sergoyan:  a horror short story with a macabre cover. I appreciate it. 3 stars for me.

Mother’s Misfortune by Cordelia Castel: a novella of the Perrault Chronicles. I didn’t read this series, but I appreciate the writing style. And I love the colours of the cover. 3 stars.

Dragonship by J.P. Ashman: a fantasy short story, with interesting characters and a beatiful cover. And Dragons!

A Head full of ghost, by Paul Tremblay: oh my, this book was a delusion! Sorry, the review is only in italian for now, I’m working to translate it! 2 stars for me.

A matter of scale by Jonathon Burgess: a fantasy short book, with a cover that reminds me of Odin Sphere (the videogame) also with dragons. Everyone loves dragons. 2 stars for me.

What was your best book of the month?

8 books I’d rescue if my house was burning down

Hello everyone!

I found this post about a months ago on Expresso Reads and I love the idea. So I pick up my phone, check my bookshelves and decided who win and who die in the game of thrones.

I cheated a little, because the original post was the 7 books to rescue, but I added one.

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I’m not doing this post only to show my best books, or to create envy. I’m not an arrogant person, at all, I just want to share with you some of the stories behind my beloved books.

So, for the books:

Extinct monsters by Hutchinson: I found this book in a little bookshop in U.K., and now I tell you a secret. I collect old books, the one who attracts me, maybe with a strange title or beautiful illustrations, so most of the times are cheap and forgotten books, but I really love them. And I love dinosaurs too. This is a copy printed in 1893.

Here’s an illustration:

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The other old book is on the right: How the plants grow by Gray, it’s a scholastic book from 1853 (american, I suppose) about botanic and plants. I love the illustrations too.

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Most of the other books are signed, so they are really precious to me, or they are my fave books.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, Boo by Neil Smith and Il vangelo secondo Biff (Lamb) by Christopher Moore are 3 of my fave books of all the time. The first and the second had literally break my heart, the third one is a hilarious and dramatic book.

Yesternight by Cat Winters, 2012 la fine del mondo (2012 the end of the world) by Roberto Giacobbo and The Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman are all signed books. I won the first one on a twitter giveaway; I partecipate in a tv show with the author of the second one; and I travelled from Turin, Italy, to Portsmouth, U.k., for the third one. One of the best memories I had.

And that’s all folks!! Have you read this books? What books you will save from your house?

It’s a beautiful quote! #1

Hello to everyone! Today I’m here with a new meme, created by me, where I share a quote that I love.

The title for this meme it’s from a song of Michael Bublè (“It’s a beautiful day”, you can hear it here). I have the same meme on my italian blog, but it’s named “Keeping in my memory” from a song of Linkin Park.

If there is a meme of another blogger with the same title, please tell me!

“This is the very first footage of a giant squid ever taken in which the squid is swimming around in its own enviroment. Imagine this sea-monstery unbelievable thing with eyeballs the size of a person’s head, and a body and tentacles twenty-five feet long. As long as a school bus. Now, realize that no one’s ever seen one moving around down there before. It’s a pretty huge miracle, and if this exists, maybe there are things in Loch Ness too. Maybe there are things everywhere, all over the place. Maybe there’s…hope?

Because every time someone finds a new animal, or a new amazing thing on earth, it means we haven’t broken everything yet.”

 

(Magonia, Maria Dahvana Headley)