Sabrina’s Book Corner: Twisted

Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing Spelled by Betsy Schow.

Spelled, like so many recent books, is a new twist on an old tale. Everyone knows the story of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, but the Dorothy found in Spelled has never known Kansas. Schow takes the well-known story and twists it into something we’ve never seen before. This concept is very popular in the YA genre at the moment, and Schow weaves her magic (pun intended) extremely well in her retelling of The Wizard of Oz.

Dorthea (or Dot to her friends) has everything she wants out of life — except for the ability to leave home. Sure, being the Emerald Princess has its perks, including extravagant ball gowns made by Glenda, but along with the royal title comes the royal curse. The curse states that one day a girl from the Emerald line will turn evil and leave Emerald to burn. Dot might not be the cursed Emerald, but she’ll never leave the castle just to be on the safe side. However, this is a problem for Dot, because all she wants is freedom.

Continue reading

Sabrina’s Book Corner: Golden

Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. As some of you may know, The Outsiders celebrated its 50th anniversary this past November. And for the uninformed, The Outsiders is a much celebrated book, which was an incredibly important piece of fiction when it came out in 1967.

The Outsiders was revolutionary because it was written by a teenager, about teenagers, for teenagers. In fact, that was the original tagline when the book first came out. Some would say that The Outsiders was one of the first books in what would later become the young adult genre. The Outsiders is a book that has resonated with people of all ages over the last 50 years because of the relatable characters and strong themes.

Continue reading

Selections from Sabrina Parr’s Chapbook, “Letters to the Girl Forged from Glass and Gold”

The cover to Parr's chapbook
The cover to Parr’s chapbook, “Letters to the Girl Forged from Glass and Gold”

“Sabrina Parr’s work delves into worlds of destruction and deterioration, but through lenses of admiration described via language. Parr’s ability to take these images of mass deterioration and flip it into something that contains beauty in some way is done so artfully that you may be forced to read it multiple times.

A cyclical nature is apparent in Parr’s piece, ‘Tinted Lens.’ Parr writes about the beauty which can be seen through a lens — ‘We stare down the lens of whatever’ is a line that’s broad, and yet specific enough that the audience can relate it to whatever they would like.

This piece continues to fill us with excitement and feelings of admiration as she follows up with the line, ‘to love the contents that construct us.’ Here the audience is allowed to feel admiration for what they are viewing, or quite possibly themselves. While it is open to multiple interpretations, the overall message remains positive, however.

Continue reading

Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My!: A Review of “Born at Midnight”

Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner! This week we will be talking about Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter.

Kylie Galen is shipped off to a camp for troubled teenagers for the summer. Soon after she arrives, it becomes clear that Kylie has a very different definition of “troubled” from the campers at Shadow Falls. Because “troubled,” for them, means supernatural.

Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and fairies who find it difficult to hide their powers in the human world make up the cast at Shadow Falls. While Kylie has never felt normal, she definitely doesn’t belong at a camp for troubled supernaturals, but everyone insists that she is one of them, even if they can’t figure out what kind of supernatural being she is.

Of course, then enters more trouble in the form of Derek, a half-fae who makes Kylie’s life feel normal again, and Lucas, who is really familiar, but doesn’t seem interested in sharing how he and Kylie may know each other. With her life falling apart and Shadow Falls coming under attack, Kylie finds that she might just be right where she belongs.

C.C. Hunter weaves together a fast-paced supernatural story with a couple of interesting twists, too. Born at Midnight is a fun and fast read for any fan of the supernatural.

That’s all for this week, and as always, happy reading!
— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

Book Review: A Twisted Vision

Hey, everyone! This week we are going to be talking about Kristi Cook’s Haven.

Violet McKenna is having a tough year. It’s bad enough that her father was brutally murdered, but Violet actually saw it and couldn’t stop it from happening. You see, Violet has visions of the future, mostly dealing with tragedies. Now all Violet wants to do is try and move on with her life.

So, when her stepmom gets a job in New York and gives Violet the choice to move to New York with her or move in with her ailing grandmother, Violet opts for New York. Enrolled at a new prestigious boarding school, Violet is ready to put everything behind her and be normal for once in her life. Winterhaven is Violet’s chance for a fresh start, but it might not be what Violet expects.

Strange things are happening at Winterhaven and Violet soon finds out that she is not the only one with a strange talent. Everyone at Winterhaven has one! Just as Violet is starting to feel normal, she meets Aidan. Mysterious, gorgeous Aidan who keeps only to himself. Soon after Violet meets Aidan, she starts to have visions of his death and it looks like she is going to be the one who kills him. Can Violet figure out the vision before it’s too late? Can she find out what Aidan is hiding before the vision comes true?

Mystery and supernatural powers abound in Kristi Cook’s Haven. You’re in for one wild ride.

That’s all for this week, and of course, happy reading!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

The Princess Trials

the selection

Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner!

I spent the summer reading any book I could get my greedy little hands on in order to tell you all about them. We are going to start off with one of my favorites, The Selection by Kiera Cass.

The heroine of The Selection, America, does not want to be a princess. The Selection is a competition to win the Prince’s love and become the new princess. To America, this sounds like a waste of time, and this isn’t the life she wants to lead. Besides, America already has her life figured out. She is going to save up money to marry her secret boyfriend, who is in a caste below her, and take care of her family.

Nowhere in her plans did America want to become a princess, but when her secret boyfriend breaks up with her, and her mother pushes her to apply, America finds herself not only applying for the Selection but winning a place. Now she is one of thirty-five girls who have a chance to compete to win Prince Maxon’s heart and become the next princess.

There’s only one problem — America still doesn’t want to be a princess. All America wants is for her heartbreak to end and to go home. That is, until she actually meets Prince Maxon. Maxon isn’t at all who she thought he would be; Maxon listens and is understanding. America could use someone like that in her life.

Hastily thrown into the world of ballgowns and royalty, America finds herself very confused. Could she be falling in love with a prince she swore she wasn’t even going to like? Could she become the next princess? Is that even something she wants? Thirty-five girls are competing for one man’s heart. Who will be the one to win Maxon’s heart? That is something not even he knows. 

Writer Kiera Cass brings us on a wild ride with The Selection. May the best girl win!

That’s all for this week, happy reading!

—Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

My Medieval Life

My Fair Godmother

Hello readers, and welcome back! This week we are going to be talking about My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison.

Savannah Delano’s life is going great. She is popular, a star on the track team, and dating the hottest boy in school. Everything is great until her sister steals her boyfriend. All Savannah has now is a broken heart and a prom dress she won’t be wearing because her boyfriend will be taking her sister instead.

Enter Chrysanthemum (Chrissy) Everstar, Savannah’s Fair Godmother. Yep, you read that right — Fair Godmother. Chrissy is a Fairy Godmother in training and she’s not doing very well, so she takes Savannah on as an extra credit assignment. Chrissy offers Savannah three wishes. What’s a girl to wish for? A prince and a ball, of course. One Cinderella story coming up.

The medieval period isn’t everything Savannah thought it would be — no electricity, no indoor plumbing, and serving your evil stepmother and ugly stepsisters isn’t fun. With no ball on the horizon, Savannah is less than happy. She keeps calling for Chrissy, but Chrissy never shows up.

When Chrissy does show up, she complains about being yanked away from her shopping trip. Savannah then uses her second wish, to be loved and taken care of. One Snow White coming up.

But being Snow White isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either. With one wish left, Savannah has to (1) get Chrissy to show up again, and (2) think of just what she wants. This is her last chance to get it right.

When Chrissy finally shows up, complaining about being yanked away from a shoe sale, Savannah uses her third wish. The wording has to be just right, so Savannah wishes for a princely guy to take her to prom while she is back at home.

Finally back at home, Savannah is ready to put her life back together. Everything is going well until Savannah finds out that the guy she’s been set up with — Tristan — is missing under mysterious circumstances. Turns out Tristan is trapped in the middle ages until he can become a prince. Savannah has to go back to medieval times to help him, what could go wrong? Can Savannah help Tristan? Will he let her?

Mystery and magic abound in My Fair Godmother. With three wishes, what could go wrong? That’s all for this week. Happy reading, everyone!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

The Emotion Test

Some Quiet Place

Hello readers and welcome back! This week we are going to be talking about Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions, but she does see them in human form. They come and go as they are needed with other people’s emotions. All emotions but Fear have given up on her. Fear is determined to figure out why Elizabeth is this way and he is going to make her feel.

There is something strange about Elizabeth, other than not feeling anything, of course, Elizabeth’s dreams are haunted by a boy and girl. The girl is so lost in grief over the dead or dying boy that she screams into the sky. Why does Elizabeth keep having this dream? Where did it come from? Why can she see emotions when no one else can?

During all of this, Elizabeth is just trying to get through high school. She is trying to avoid getting in trouble at home where her father beats her, her mother hates her, and her brother ignores everything. But, most importantly, Elizabeth just wants to be left alone.

Elizabeth’s life takes a turn for the worse when a dark presence starts stalking her life. Even the emotions are afraid. What is stalking her and what does it want with a slightly abnormal girl like Elizabeth? Elizabeth’s life may depend on finding the answers and she may not be able to count on Fear to help her. There is more to her than meets the eye.

Kelsey Sutton takes us on an emotional ride in this novel, all puns intended. That’s all for this week. Check in next week for more, and happy reading everyone!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

Vampire Hunter or Unicorn?

Drink Slay Love

Hello readers, and welcome back! This week we’re going to be talking about Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst, because everyone needs their vampire fix.

Pearl is your average sixteen-year-old vampire. She sleeps during the day and terrorizes unsuspecting humans at night. Everything is going great until one night when Pearl gets attacked by a unicorn. But everyone knows unicorns don’t exist.

Pearl’s family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter and tell her she is lucky to be alive. The biggest surprise comes when it’s discovered that Pearl can now withstand the sunlight without bursting into flame. Soon after this surprise comes out, the king of the New England Coven announces that he has chosen Pearl’s family to host the feast. This means the family needs to find a food supply, and a lot of it.

So Pearl is heading to high school, where she is befriended by two goody-goody humans. This shouldn’t be a problem except happily-evil Pearl is starting to feel twinges of a conscience. Pearl is supposed to deliver her high school “friends” up to feed the king’s appetite, but how can she do that? Pearl is starting to care about these new friends.

Pearl has to make a choice — betray her new friends and let them die or be killed for betraying her family? What is a sunlight-loving vampire to do? Sarah Beth Durst takes us on a wild ride in this book. Vampires and unicorns battle it out in Drink Slay Love.

That’s all for this week, check back next week for another book review. Happy reading, everyone!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

Four Minutes Too Late

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Hello readers, and welcome back. This week we will be talking about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

Hadley Sullivan is on her way to her estranged father’s wedding. He’ll be marrying a women Hadley has never met. Hadley is heading to England for the wedding and plans to spend twenty-four hours there–get in and get out as quickly as possible. Then disaster strikes. She misses her flight by a mere four minutes.

The next flight isn’t for a couple of hours, which means Hadley will barely have enough time to make it to the wedding. She’s set to be a bridesmaid in the wedding…if she can make it there at all. The only good thing about this mess is that Hadley meets a boy named Oliver in the airport, who just so happens to be taking the same flight as her. And they are sitting next to each other.

They spend the night getting to know each other, talking and making jokes. Oliver makes Hadley forget about her claustrophobia and she thinks she might be falling for this boy she just met, but even the longest flight has to end. At the airport, Hadley and Oliver lose each other in the crowd. Hadley has to get to her father’s wedding so she heads out.

Will Hadley ever see Oliver again? Will she make it to her father’s wedding on time? Can she bridge the distance between her and her father? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? Jennifer Smith crafts a fast-paced story that leaves you wishing you could find your Oliver sitting next to you on an airplane.

That’s all for this week! Check in next week for another book review, and happy reading!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor