Monday, June 2, 2014


Illustrator: Alexander Jansson
Published: May 27th, 2014
Genre: MG
Pages: 304
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Format: e-ARC preview
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf
A collection of forty eerie, mysterious, intriguing, and very short short stories presented by the cabinet’s esteemed curators, otherwise known as acclaimed authors Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire LeGrand, and Emma Trevayne. Perfect for fans of Alvin Schwartz and anyone who relishes a good creepy read-alone or read-aloud story. Features an introduction and commentary by the curators, and illustrations and decorations throughout.

The galley I downloaded from Edelweiss was a preview that included four of the total forty stories (curses!). But, it was enough to intrigue and leave me wishing for more. 

FAIRY CAKES (by Emma Trevayne)
Every year, the fairies visit in the night. While the townspeople usually leave out cakes to satisfy the fairies devasting hunger, this year, things are a bit different....This was quite a story to begin with! Trevayne builds tension nicely with this fast-paced, disturbing, and eerie tale. It's very story-focused, with hardly any focus on characters, which was different and unexpected. 3.5 out of 5

RED SHOWS AND DOLL PARTS (by Claire Legrand)
When a story begins with a girl and her beloved wooden doll, you know it's going to be interesting. Legrand does not disappoint as she presents Jackie and the very creepy Mr. Jimmy. I don't know what it is about dolls, but there's something unnerving about them, and Mr. Jimmy is easily one of the eeriest. This is one of those stories that left me wondering and pondering certain ideas, and I love stories that keep me thinking.  4 out of 5

This story, written as a transcript that tells the story of a boy and a prank gone terribly wrong, is my favorite so far. I never knew what to expect, and the reveal at the conclusion was fascinatingly eerie and strange. Even though the main characters speaking in the transcript are not named, the young boy's story evokes strong emotions and tells the reader quite a bit about him. 4.5 out of 5

MABEL MAVELIA (by Stefan Bachmann)
An odd story about a very strange garden that a girl finds once her family moves her to a new home. Mabel is thoroughly unlikable, but that's a part of the story's charm. I'm not sure if it was an intentional allusion or not, but certain aspects reminded me of the "The Yellow Wallpaper", which only added to the eerie quality of Bachmann's story. As much as I enjoyed this one, it felt like something was missing. 3.5 out of 5

In the end, I will likely check out The Cabinet of Curiosities now that it's released, so I can finally read the rest of the stories and see more of Alexander Jansson's artwork. 

Title: RUIN AND RISING Sampler
By: Leigh Bardugo
Published: June 17th, 2014
Series: The Grisha #3
Genre: YA fantasy
Pages: around 64 
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Format: print sampler
Source: Publisher
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Highlights: Even though the sampler was only a few chapters long, Bardugo's writing style hooked me from the beginning. I love how Bardugo's novels begin in a slightly haunting fairytale fashion, before transitioning into Alina's POV. There's a lot that's happening at the beginning of Ruin and Rising, and the intensity and excitement level picks up very quickly. Since the last novel, everything has changed, and it's difficult to tell who's friend or foe to Alina. If this sampler is any indication, I have a feeling the full novel will be full of surprises, not to mention be a complete thrill to read.

Lowlights: Not enough chapters! Fortunately, the book releases on June 17th, and we can all finally figure out what happens! 


  1. Loving the cover of THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. Not a big fan of short stories, but I might like these kind of short stories. & the cover looks like howl's moving castle.

    1. Gorgeous cover! I have high hopes for this collection.

  2. Amazing reviews sweetie. <3 Ack, I loved the preview copy of Cabinet :D Still waiting on my hardcover to arrive.. grr. Hopefully soon; as I cannot wait to read it :D And Ruin and Rising! So jealous that you got to read the early chapters :) I am dying for this book. <3

    1. I think we're all dying to read RUIN AND RISING! Just a few more weeks...*glares at calendar*

  3. Sounds like some good stories to sample and make you want to read some more.

  4. The Cabinet looks soooo good!! I'm not a huge fan of short stories (they usually leave me with wanting more), but I'll definitely have to check this one out.

    1. I tend to dislike short stories, but these were really good. Hopefully the whole collection will be great!