Tagged: Friendships

Spirit Animals: Book 1: Wild Born

Fun book.  Great for upper elementary school to middle school.  The book flows great but may be to easy for more challenged readers of age bracket.  This is book 1 to a series. There is a code so your child or children can play the online game unlocking their own spirit animals.  Fun read at any age.  Great book for 4th and 5th graders to sink deeper into book reports with, as they will want to read the book and share what they read, as they find their favorite of the spirit animals talked about.

You can buy a used copy of this book here.

The Maze Runner – Book Review

To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the book:

“When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials are now major motion pictures featuring the star of MTV’s Teen Wolf, Dylan O’Brien; Kaya Scodelario; Aml Ameen; Will Poulter; and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. The third movie, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, will hit screens in 2018.” (From Amazon.com product listing)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to the Maze Runner Trilogy.  Though there is a prequel I strongly suggest starting with this book. To read the prequel will ruin the biggest surprise in this book.  If you saw the movie, please don’t judge the book by it.  The book is better than the movie in my opinion. Great book for middle school to high school reading and a great book to use for book reports.  If you like Hunger Games, then you will surely like Maze Runner.

This book is also available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and Audio CD formats here. [affiliate link]

Song of the Sparrow – Book Review

About the book:

“The year is 490 AD.  Fiery 16-year-old Elaine of Ascolat,  the daughter of one of King Arthur’s supporters,  lives with her father on Arthur’s base camp,  the sole girl in a militaristic world of men. Elaine’s only girl companion is the mysterious Morgan, Arthur’s older sister, but Elaine cannot tell Morgan her deepest secret: She is in love with Lancelot, Arthur’s second-in-command. However, when yet another girl — the lovely Gwynivere– joins their world, Elaine is confronted with startling emotions of jealousy and rivalry. But can her love for Lancelot survive the birth of an empire? (From amazon.com’s product listing)

Jenn’s Review:

I read this book myself a few years ago, and fell in love with the long-poem form of it. The author did an amazing job of recreating King Arthur’s court and imagining subtle side currents to the main story that most of us have come to know so well. Well written and engaging. I would rate this a high middle-school level, and let my 11 year old read it recently as she was exploring epic poetry style writing, and she loved it.

Thrice Read Books has a hardcover edition of this book for sale here.

You can also buy this book from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover or paperback edition here. [affiliate link]

On Broken Wings – Book Review

About the Book:

The author of Into the Blue and Fly with Me returns with the third high-flying Wild Aces romance…

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory. 

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

Jenn’s Review:

Chanel Cleeton strikes a chord once more with her third book in the Wild Aces series, On Broken Wings.

Dani has struggled along in the year since her husband, call sign “Joker” crashed into an Alaskan mountain side in his F-16, and the loss of their baby only a few months before. She’s alone, trying to redefine herself after years as an Air Force wife, unsure where life will leave her once her house sells and it’s time to move on. Alex, call sign “Easy”, has been a long-time close friend, was her husband’s best friend, and he’s always been there when Dani needed a strong shoulder to lean on.

Alex, however, has kept a deep, dark secret for all the years he’s known Dani. His heart has been in her hands for years, head over heels in love with his friend’s devoted wife, never saying a word to anyone about it. With Joker gone, however, guilt consumes him over the need he feels for Dani, and fear has edged in with it. Dani might be gone forever when he returns from his latest deployment to Afghanistan.

Can these two find each other, beyond friendship and their shared grief? Can Dani find the realization of her dreams she’s long thought dead and gone?

Ms. Cleeton weaves an emotionally gripping story of friends pulling apart and coming back together, stronger than before. Sexy and fast paced, reading this book was everything I look for in a romance novel.

This book may be purchased on Amazon in either Kindle or mass market paperback edition here. (affiliate link)

StoneKing – Review

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Jenn’s review: 

ARGH! I just finished reading StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio, and WOW!

If you haven’t yet read the first two books in the Gemeta Stone series, start with KingletFiskur can be read on its own, and a reader can still get the gist of what’s happened, but I wouldn’t recommend starting this series at book 3 by any means (I’m sure it could stand alone in a pinch, but so many threads from previous books have been pulled into play that it would be a challenge, or a reader might miss far too much of what’s going on).

All those warnings aside, StoneKing is a breathtakingly beautiful work of art. Ms. Migliaccio again writes stunning scenes with an economy of words. Well-rounded and sympathetic characters. I had to put the book down for a few days because of a migraine – usually I can read, despite everything else, but the settings and emotions Ms. Migliaccio writes pulled me in so deeply that the main character’s struggles only enhanced my own problems.

Absolutely nothing is going right for poor Kristan Gemeta. What started as an ill-fated and precipitous visit from a neighboring princess turns into an enlightening adventure, each new stop revealing more and more how poorly things are going for the young king. While everyone (mostly) has good intentions, things are falling apart fast around Kristan, and he’s wedged into tighter and tighter corners as he tries to straighten it all out.

By around the 3/4 progress mark, I was staggering from the plot twists. Book 3 is the antithesis of all of Kristan’s triumph of book 2. Kristan may be the king, but Murphy’s Law reigns supreme in the StoneKing’s lands.

I’ll have to tease the release date for book four out of my contacts, because… the last page. What can I say? I’m already looking forward to it, and my to-be-read pile is already enormous. This is definitely a YA rating (Sam’s 12, and usually reads YA fiction, but I’ve held her off of this series because of some limited content). While this book isn’t as violent as its predecessors in the series, war forces people to make tough choices, and as things settle down, those choices come to light in sometimes brutal or vulgar ways.

In short, Ms. Migliaccio’s writing will pull you in, drag you under, and hold you in Kirstan’s scarred and uncomfortable skin throughout the pages of this book, and will have you begging for more when you finally reach the last page.

Also by Donna Migliaccio

Princeling (Prequel, Gemeta Stone)

Kinglet (Book 1, Gemeta Stone)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)

Stone King – Promo & Excerpt

About the book:

StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio February 20, 2018

Fantasy The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

Buy Links:

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media: 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Excerpt (reprinted with the permission of the publisher/author)

EXCERPT from Chapter 1

He did not know how long he had been standing in numb silence when a sense of being watched crept over him. He opened his eyes. A dozen paces away stood an old woman, heavy and stolid, swaddled in a blanket and wincing in the frosty air. Beside her was a tabby cat.

Kristan blinked and looked again. A wavering, transparent haze surrounded the cat, as if the little creature was somehow radiating intense heat. Wiche, he thought, and tensed. By the Stone, what sort of trickery is this?

“A cold morning for standing afield,” the old woman said.

Kristan nodded. The cat took a few steps toward him, angling to his left. Now that the morning sun was no longer behind it, the flickering blur had a distinctly human shape; small, slight and somehow feminine.

“Pay her no mind,” the old woman said. “Curious creature, but she means no harm.”

A blast of wind made them all flinch. Malvo shuddered and stamped. Cat and shape skittered backward in perfect unison.

“Are you of the castle?” the old woman asked.

Are you of the castle?

Bright fragments jangled in the ruins of Kristan’s memory: a spring morning, the smell of fields freshly green, the ring of tack and the thunder of Malvo’s hooves. Beneath those shining shards other, more ominous memories shifted, and Kristan twitched his attention back to the pair before him.

“Can you not speak, sir?” the old woman asked.

“I can speak.” Kristan jerked his chin at the cat-thing. “Is she yours?”

The old woman chuckled. “As much as such creatures can be.”

The cat moved toward him again, with more confidence. It lifted a paw, as if to pat at his leg, just as the shape spouted a foggy protrusion that reached toward his cloak. He recoiled and bumped against Malvo.

“Never fear,” the old woman said. “Such a little cat can do you no harm.”

Kristan snorted. “Does she speak?”

Both the cat and the woman froze, but then the old one chuckled again, although this time the laugh sounded forced. “Speak? That would be strange indeed.”

“Why? Is she a simpleton?”

With a loud hiss, the cat disappeared, snuffed like a candle’s flame. In the same breath, the shape solidified into an adolescent girl. She stumbled backward and fell, and the old woman leaped in front of her, arms outflung as if to ward off a blow.

Girl of Glass – Book Review

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TRB Twit for Son of Sun Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Girl of Glass

About the Book:

Girl of Glass; Megan O’Russell
Y/A; Dystopian Fantasy; 242 Pages

Ink Worlds Press (February 26, 2019)

Two worlds…one glass wall…no turning back.

The human race has been divided. The chosen few live in the safety of the domes, watching through their glass walls as those left on the outside suffer and die. But desperation has brought invention, and new drugs have given the outsiders the strength to roam the poisoned night unafraid – but it comes at a price.​

Seventeen-year-old Nola Kent has spent her life in the domes, being trained to protect her little piece of the world that has been chosen to survive. The mission of the domes is to preserve the human race, not to help the sick and starving. But when outsider Kieran Wynne begs for Nola’s help in saving an innocent life, she is drawn into a world of darkness and danger. The suffering on the other side of the glass is beyond anything Nola had imagined, and turning her back on the outside world to return to the safety of the domes may be more than she can stand. Even when her home is threatened by the very people Nola wants to help.

About the Author:

Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. Megan’s current published works include YA series The Tethering and Girl of Glass, as well as the Christmas romance Nuttycracker Sweet. 2017 projects include The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Chronicles of Maggie Trent: The Girl Without Magic. 
For more information on Megan’s books visit MeganORussell.com.

Jenn’s Review:

Girl of Glass is one of the best YA dystopian novels I’ve read in a very long time. On par with Hunger Games, Megan O’Russell has created a gripping storyline that has me chomping at the bit for book 2, Boy of Bloodto be released (it’s coming out in April, I believe, and Thrice Read Books will be on the blog tour for it).

Nola is a typical teenager. She’s fallen in love and lost that love. She has a friend who has a crush on her, and of course, her mother is distant and just doesn’t understand… And then, the boy she fell in love with, happens back into her life on a fateful afternoon while her class is working in the Charity Center, feeding the *cough cough* “less fortunate” of the city outside the cocooned, sequestered, perfect world of the Domes.

At seventeen, Nola has to make some hard choices in her life, as the unjustness of the “Domers” treatment of those who live on the outside. All she has grown up with, all she has been carefully conditioned to understand is challenged as she faces starvation, sickness, and death that runs rampant on the outside.

And at the center of this harsh awakening is Keiran – the boy she fell in love with before he and his father were banished from the Domes for helping those on the outside. To further complicate matters, her long-time friend Jeremy, reveals his love for Nola, leaving her in limbo between the man she can’t have and the man who would give everything for her.

This was a really exciting read. Sam will probably also be reading (and doing a vlog, of course) this as well as Boy of Blood. The book does contain a few fight scenes, which are mildly graphic, but most readers shouldn’t find these too disturbing. Girl of Glass contains vampires, werewolves and zombies (oh my!), but Megan has altered their origins for the purposes of her story.

If you only have one dystopian novel on your list this year, make sure this book is on it!

TRB Pin Girl of Glass Review
Sam reviews Megan O’Russell’s Son of Sun

Sam’s Review:

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner reviews Girl of Glass by Megan O’Russell

Hello everybody! In case you’re new, my name is Sam. And welcome to Sam’s Teen Reads Corner, with short reviews to get your reading list started. Today, our topic is Girl of Glass by Megan O’Russell, a dystopian novel whereas the best of the best survive within glass domes, and the rest, well, they make do with drugs that enhance their senses, give them supernatural abilities, yet also helps them to survive the toxic environment.

The daughter of a botanist,  the girl’s name is Nola, is told that in order to find her childhood friend, she must go too 5th and Nightland. This throws her into a web of lies, and into an adventure that she isn’t sure that she ever wanted, Not only does she need to run errands to save the life of a little girl and to make it seems as though they kidnapped her, but she finds herself torn between two boys who love her very much: the vampire, and the guard.

Keep an eye, as well as an ear, out for the next review, Boy of Blood, which is the sequel, which will be released of the tenth of April, and Thrice Read Books is on the blog tour, so the review should come out very close to the time it is released. If you enjoy dystopian novels, vampires, and adventurous heroines, then this is the series for you! It gets 5 stars, and two thumbs in the air. Subscribe, check out the link, like, and enable notifications. I’ll be back next week. Bye!

Updated Sam Review:

Dystopian meets Twilight in Girl of Glass a story about life behind glass, a way of preserving life, or well, all the best aspects of it. Within the domes, only the best of bodies, minds, and personalities live in luxury and safety. Outside the domes, drugs that change you, change your body, your abilities, and all the failures that came with the drugs are barely surviving. For Nola, she has everything she could want as the daughter of a botanist. Until an offer comes across her path, the chance for more. All she has to do is leave the domes, and find Nightland, an underground group of Vampires.

She is told that all they want is some medicine for their leader’s dying daughter. If she doesn’t, she will have the guilt of knowing that she could have saved a life. If she does, and she’s caught, she will be marked as a traitor to the domes. Naturally, she makes the most sensible choice: she steals the medicine. Now, she has been tossed into a world of betrayal and danger. Love is hiding behind the least expected places, and familiar faces aren’t as familiar as she thought.

Girl of Glass is ensnaring and immersive and is a well written dystopian. Danger lurks in every corner, and it is very descriptive. If you enjoy dystopian novels and love triangles, I recommend this book, along with the entire series. There weren’t a lot of things that I found wrong with this story, and the entire series is pretty much one big book. A well-written series, indeed.

Buy the Book:

This book can be purchased in Kindle or paperback editions here.


Also by Megan O’Russell

Boy of Blood (book 2, Girl of Glass)

Night of Never (book 3, Girl of Glass)

Son of Sun (book 4, Girl of Glass)

Death of Day (Book 5, Girl of Glass)

Child Wound in Gold (Short story for Maggie Trent)

The Girl Without Magic (Maggie Trent, Book 1)

When Worlds Begin (Series Starter Set)

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Book Review

About the book:

 “‘There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.'” 

Harry Potter’s summer has included the worst birthday ever, doomy warnings from a house-elf called Dobby, and rescue from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical flying car! Back at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his second year, Harry hears strange whispers echo through empty corridors – and then the attacks start. Students are found as though turned to stone… Dobby’s sinister predictions seem to be coming true.

Sam’s Review:

Hello again. Today in Sam’s Teen Reads Corner, we’ll be talking about, wait for it,  J.K Rowling’s second book in the Harry Potter series: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry and his friends go back for their second year at Hogwarts, once again, they find themselves in the middle of a battle between dark magic and good magic. And once again, Harry is the only one who can defeat Voldemort, only, this time, he won’t be fighting Voldemort himself, but a memory, the young Tom Riddle, the young self of the dark lord. But can he defeat the young Voldemort, or will he fail? And how, just how, does one fight a memory? Read it to answer these questions, and to take your magical journey to the next stop. This fantasy tale will captivate the minds of young adults everywhere from the first page, and is filled with twists and turns. It gets 5 stars, and two thumbs up. Please don’t forget to check out the link, and subscribe. Like and enable notifications and I’ll be seeing you next week, so hang in there. Bye!

Buy the book:

 You can buy this book on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook or mass market paperback edition here. [affiliate link]

Kinglet – Book Review

About the book:

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything:  his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet.  As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.

But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go.  As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession. 

With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna.  He could regain his birthright and his honor.  But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.

Jenn’s Book Review:

Back to the fantasy genre with Book One of the Gemeta Stone series, Kinglet. I read the first two of these books backward, and though I reviewed Fiskur first, I highly recommend starting with Kinglet (go figure… read a series in order – What a novel concept!).

Ms. Migliaccio’s debut novel for this series lays the foundation of a beautifully developed fantasy world filled with magic, mystery, bitterness, and revenge slowly played out. We meet Fandrall’s heir-apparent, Kristan Gemeta as a shy, kind prince, doing his best to live up to his dying mother’s request. While Kristan isn’t as big and brawny, or as outspoken, as his father might like, he is cunning and quick.

Kristan’s father is betrayed by a former ally who’s sold his soul (and his morals) for want of an heir, setting in motion the events of the Gemeta Stone series. In nearby Hogia, Gemeta’s betrayer finds himself without heir or kingdom, and Daazna, the “devil” who’s usurped his throne, has a bitter grudge against Kristan’s family line and cares little for the power he has in Hogia, leaving the kingdom in despair and ruin.

Hogia still has hope in the form of a small band of rebels that find themselves fleeing for their lives, bound straight for their destined encounter with the exiled Kristan.

Lest I give away spoilers, I’ll leave you hanging there…

Ms. Migliaccio weaves a beautifully crafted fantasy tale of revenge and enemies, old allies and new-found friends, hate and burgeoning love in this series’ first book. Deep, well-developed characters, magic and myth, and cultures both familiar and new come to life in the pages of this novel.

Again, I wouldn’t recommend this book for younger teens or those that tend towards squeamish about violence. Kinglet does have a number of battle scenes, and while Ms. Migliaccio is concise about her descriptions in Kinglet, I found that they were slightly longer in book 1 than they were in Fiskur, and more detailed. (Though I feel it’s also fair to note that they are not unnecessarily long or overly graphic – they are what I would consider being believable in nature.)

Buy the Book:

This book is available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon here

Also by Donna Migliaccio

Princeling (Prequel)

Fiskur (Book 2, Gemeta Stone)

Stoneking (Book 3, Gemeta Stone)

Ragis (Book 4, Gemeta Stone)

This blog post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that TRB receives a small percentage of your final order total, at no extra cost to you. The revenue generated from affiliate links helps us cover our costs, and keeps Thrice Read Books ad-free. Thank you for your support!

Hawksmaid – Book Review

Sam’s Teen Reads Corner is live with another video book review, this time of the book Hawksmaid by Catherine Lasky.

The author of the book Hawksmaid is Kathryn Lasky. When Matty, AKA Maid Marian, discovers her talents for taming and training hawks, she learns that it may take every bit of her talent, and bonds to her hawks to save England from ruin and tyranny. No book that has been written in the fantasy fiction genre, so far, could ever match to the storyline’s magical airs. It is an amazing read, and I recommend it for Junior High level reading and up. It gets 5 of 5 stars, for an amazing and magical tale of love and freedom. The moments of tension and bliss help you fall in love with the mischievous at heart characters.

 You can buy a copy of Hawksmaid from Thrice Read Books here.

This book is also available from Amazon in Kindle, hardcover and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]