Project Wonderful

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Shannon's Review - The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron King
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Faeries,
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Received: Bought
Release Date: January 2010
Pages: 351

Julie Kagawa’s Official Websites





Etsy Store

Shannon’s Thoughts:

The Iron King is the start of a lovable YA series about Faeries.  Most YA book with similar plots start out with the main character, in this case Meghan Chase, thinking that her life is somewhat boring or hard.  Only to realize that the original life she had was super easy compared to what she is now facing. Which is a life of folklore, magic and crucial future, that may get both her families in trouble or worse.

What The Iron King has going for it is likable characters.  As we travel through the book we meet characters reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. The story is quick paced although sometimes too quickly as scenes whirlwind by.  What I like about it is there more real life folklore brought to the story that some authors leave out of there fictional faerie stories.  

I mentioned that The Iron King was a little too quickly rushed.  Now that might be because I read it too quickly but I think it may be because I wanted more description in some scenes.  Now while I did like the book I was a little bored by the plot because I have read it in so many other fictional faerie or witch books.

I did more than a little liked The Iron King, which is the first book in a series called The Iron Fey.  It is a book for teens. Written with a teen in the lead.  Fans of Alice in Wonderland would probably really enjoy this adventure too.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Shannon's Review - Chinese Healing Exercises by Steven Cardoza


Title: Chinese Healing Exercises
Series: N/A
Author: Steven Cardoza
Genre: Non-Fiction, Health, Fitness
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Received: From Publisher
Release Date: November 2013
Pages: 297


Author - Steven Cardoza Official Websites:

None at moment

Shannon’s Thoughts:

It is really hard to review a book that is teaching you with pictures step by step on what to do.  How to draw books are another example of that but here I am talking about an exercise book.   Chinese Healing Exercises is a book filled with loads of different exercises for different ailments.  

The difficulty of the exercises vary.  Most of the time the difficult exercises are mixed with the easier stretches.  I think anyone who is a Yoga or Tai Chi fan will be satisfied with the different poses.

The only thing is if you are out of shape and your body does not want to stretch the simple or hard postures like they us to.  As I said for most of the exercises you have a mixture difficulty.  For myself I tried looking for exercises that I could work my way up to hard.   I thought maybe there would be exercises just on a chair but really not much of that.  

I think that for those that are young and still flexible, the exercises will be helpful. Or maybe look through the book and pick your own poses to practice. Everyone has there own limit mine is not the same as yours.


Friday, May 30, 2014

The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom


Title: The First Phone Call From Heaven
Series: N/A
Author: Mitch Albom
Genre: Fiction, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher:  Harper
Received:  Purchased
Release Date:  November 2013
Pages: 323


Mitch Albom’s Official Websites:

Main Site




You Tube


Shannon’s Thoughts:

A small town in U.S.A. makes headlines as a few of it’s residences start getting phone calls from loved ones who have died.  A story of faith, hope and believing what is in your heart.

I am a big fan of Mitch Albom’s fiction works.  He has some great ideas and there is always one or two quotes that just usually blow me away.  This one is not much different.  A group of small towns people start receiving phone calls from loved ones that say they are calling from Heaven. They only call at certain times and only a select group of individuals in the town.  

From the beginning it is very mysterious and for me I was hoping that it did not end how I thought it might. Well… I won’t say how it ended but will say this was my least favorite book.  I still think it is a great story and he knows how to tell a story.  I had similar feelings for Albom’s book before this The Timekeeper.

The First Phone Call From Heaven is a great imaginative story and will leave you hoping and wondering.  Even though it is low on the ratings list of Alboms books it is still a page turner and he still has a fan.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Shannon's Review - Whaley's Big Adventure by Alexander Luke and Carole P. Roman


Title: Whaley’s Big Adventure
Series: N/A
Author: Carole P. Roman and Alexander Luke
Genre: Children, Picture Book, Animals
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Received: From Publisher
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 10


Author’s Official Websites:

Carole P. Roman’s Site

Carole’s Blog

Carole’s Twitter

Shannon’s Thoughts:

A young Blue Whale named Whaley swims the oceans meeting and learning about his fellow sea creatures, mostly mammals that will be big like him.

For children interested in large land animals like dinosaurs and such, this might be a good intro to large sea creatures.  Especially since these creatures are still living and growing in our seas.  These underwater dinosaurs are impressively described and wonderfully painted giving a perfect underwater feel.  Learning facts about about the animals that my head can not fully fathom but it is a great precursor to later looking up actual pictures of the animals.  To me it feels like a beginners guide which is good because it is always good to start somewhere.

I would like to see more of Whaley but maybe more with a story about his day maybe or his playdate that he eventually had with his friends. How do whales play? Do they have snacks and naps in the middle of the day?  Do they go to “school”?  Just a few thoughts I imagine might be fun to find out.

Whaley has a long life ahead of himself and a big playground.   Out of the 40 whales that inhabit the oceans we are introduced to less than 10.  Let’s hope that means more Whaley and friends.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shannon's Review - Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery


Title: Anne Of Green Gables
Series: Anne Of Green Gables #1
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Puffin
Received: Purchased
Release Date: 1908
Pages: 369


Official Websites Of Author:

L.M. Montgomery Institute

Shannon’s Thoughts:

When siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide they need help on the farm they decide to adopt a boy to bring some youth and strength to help them.  As Matthew makes his way to pick up the orphaned boy at the train station he finds that the orphanage made a mistake and sent a girl. Not just any girl but redheaded,and dramatic Anne Shirley.  Anne is a dreamer, a free spirit and full of exuberance.  Matthew and Marilla end up falling in love with and Anne even if she is drawn to trouble.   

Anne Of Green Gables is the first book in a series written by Lucy Maude Montgomery  (L.M. Montgomery).  When I was growing up the t.v. channel PBS made this series of books into movies.  I knew of them but only caught bits and pieces here and there.  I hear they are excellent and hope to one day catch them.  Not only had I not seen the movies but I had never read the books.  Anne Of Green Gables was completely new to me. I loved Anne Shirley and her friend Diana.  They were such dreamers and so passionate about life and it’s beauties.

If I had to pinpoint anything I disliked about Anne Of Green Gables it would have to be… actually it would be nothing.  I can not think of a thing I disliked about story.  I mean Anne gets in trouble but the way she gets in trouble is just another piece of Anne’s character because usually when she in hot water it was because she was trying to be good.

HIghly recommend for girls from ages 10 and up.  Boys might like it but it is a book of a girl in her world.   


Shannon's Review - Cemetery Girl Book One: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden


Title:  Cemetery Girl - Book One: The Pretenders
Series:  Cemetery Girl Vol. 1
Authors: Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Received:  Borrowed
Release Date: January 2014
Pages: 120


Shannon’s Thoughts:

A young woman finds herself left for dead in a cemetery without memory of who she was or where she lives.  Afraid of those that tried to kill her, she takes refuge in the cemetery and even taking her new name from a tomb stone.  The girl, now known as Calexa,  visits local houses to “borrow” food.  She also finds a new power within herself that scares her.

I found that this graphic novel’s story grabbed from previous characters in the fantasy genre, like Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  Since the authors’ took certain traits from those popular books and t.v. series it made me only like it more. In fact even though this volume #1 was a pretty big graphic novel I need more.  I am eager to find out where the story goes after this introduction.

I find it a little surprising that so many people disliked it because it was a graphic novel.  I am a avid reader and I find graphic novels to sometimes be more relaxing because my brain does not have to visualize as much with a graphic novel. I also find that graphic novel can be great for those who do not read as often.  I really don’t understand not liking any graphic novel just for … being a graphic novel.

Authors Official Websites:

Charlaine Harris


Christopher Golden





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Shannon's Review - Warrior Girl by Matt Lazar and Amanda Thomas


Title: Warrior Girl
Series: N/A
Authors: Matt Lazar and Amanda Thomas
Genre: Fiction, YA Fiction
Publisher:  Boston Avenue Media
Received: From author for review
Release Date: October 2012
Pages: 226


Official Websites:


Shannon Thoughts:

A Korean girl, Sun Hi, attends her first year of college at Oxford University.  She learns that all people have good and bad sides.  Some you can give a second chance at being your friend, and others you can not trust. Sun Hi pours herself into school work, and playing World of Warcraft, hoping to make the bad things that happen disappear from her mind.

“Warrior Girl” is a quick read and enjoyable. The characters are well developed and most of them stay who they are, as Sun Hi learns strength in herself. Part of the story I really found interesting was the way Kaito treated Sun Hi because of her different heritage. It did seem realistic.

While I did like "Warrior Girl" the story feels like a short story, one that should have been in a compilation book. Also it was missing something that could have made this book a series especially because of the characters.  What could have been added was the idea of Sun Hi more of a detective using her gaming habits to discover answers to clues of a murder or something like that.

Strong characters, and okay story with potential to continue forward.  I do know that I would not have read this had I not been asked to. It is good writing though and an authors to keep an eye on.