Sep 17, 2014

Haze (Blog Tour)


Written by: Paula Weston

Published by: Tundra Books

Published on: September 9, 2014

Ages: New Adult

Provided by the publisher for review. All opinions are my own. 

Gaby and Rafa are back!!! Last year I fell in love with the Rephaim and Pan Beach residents introduced in Paula Weston's Shadows.  That tale was packed with action and building a fascinating world where the children of fallen angels fight to keep humans safe from demons. The best thing about the book is it was only the first. Now Haze is here to continue this story.

Gaby's journey to unravel the web of deceit and false memories she has fallen into continues. The last memory she has of her brother Jude was of him dying in a car crash. But if the car crash wasn't real for her, maybe it wasn't for him either. In that case, where is her twin??

Luckily, Gaby has the mysterious and attractive Rafa to help her follow Jude's trail and introduce her to the other Rephaim, which might be the most difficult part- she steps right into a world fraught with tension and division and she doesn't know who is her friend and who is her enemy from her past life. How do you work beside others to kill demons when you can't even trust them?

Gaby is lucky that she has her best friend from Pan Beach, Maggie, and she knows Maggie is true. Sadly, she knows Maggie has also been dragged into this demon war mess, and has to make sure Maggie is protected too.

Gaby is such a great central character. Her disconnect between her current self and what people tell her about her past self, and especially her past morals, makes her vulnerable despite her physical strength, and without ever veering into whiny. Will she ever develop back into the Gabe who dated the arrogant Daniel? I hope not, I like to see her with Rafa, despite the fact that Rafa won't tell Gaby what was up with them before she landed in Pan Beach.

One of the fun things the fabulous author, Paula Weston, did for the bloggers on the tour was to tell us which character matched our personality the most! I was afraid I would end up being Daniel, we both have a tendency to know what is best for everyone who is not ourselves. But I was so happy to find out that I am most like Micah!

The easy going guitar playing half-angel was Gabe's best friend in the Sanctuary. He, Jude, Rafa, and Gabe were inseparable before Jude and Gabe disappeared. When Gaby comes back he is quick to reacquaint her with the other Rephaim, and tries to play peacemaker between the Sanctuary Rephaim and Rebel Rephaim. Micah is a stand-up guy and I hope to see more of him in Shimmer and Burn.

This book ends on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to see how it is resolved. Shimmer comes out next autumn and I hope the time passes quickly before I am back in Gaby's world.

Visit the other stops on the Haze tour today!

Summer at MissFictional’s World of YA Books
Jillian at Centre of the Universe
Crystal at WinterHaven Books
Lisa at Turning Pages

Don't forget to check out the home of the Blog Tour at Tundra Press to see what other fabulous places Haze is visiting this week, where there will be giveaways, interviews, and more!

Sep 9, 2014

The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta

The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta 

Written by: Fatima Sharafeddine

Illustrated by: Intelaq Mohamed Ali

Published by: Groundwood Books

Published on: May 13, 2014

Ages: 5+

This picture book biography introduces a 14th century traveler and a very different view of the world.

Can you imagine going somewhere without a map? Never mind something that tells you exactly where to turn on your mobile device. Ibn Battuta didn't have a travel website to go on when he departed, he had to rely on his wits and what other travellers told him.

This Moroccan adventurer started off from Tangier and made new friends in countries like Iraq, Egypt, and India. He even made it all the way to China. He was a resourceful man who used many different modes of transportation, from camel riding to ships on the ocean.

The reason why Ibn Battuta's name is still known so many centuries later is that he wrote down his impressions on seeing all these places and meeting so many people. Writing things down and sharing them with people not only entertained and enlightened his readers but also guaranteed his place in history.

This is a great book to be tied into a journal-writing activity for early elementary students, or to tie into geography lessons. 

This review is for Nonfiction Monday. Pop by the Nonfiction Monday page and check out other great reviews of children's nonfiction.