Mon ami thé #2

31 Mar

Ami Thé - Vanessa and Her Sister


Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
[restrained, passionate, traditional, avant garde, sisters]


Organic Cream of Earl Grey by David’s Tea
[cornflowers, marigolds, vanilla, bergamot oil]


Que pensez-vous ?

TombQuest #1: Book of the Dead (Michael Northrop)

30 Mar

Book of the Dead 

Hey there, Squinks! If you, like me, lapped up every detail about Egypt in Jude Watson / Judy Blundell’s Beyond the Grave, the fourth book of Scholastic’s The 39 Clues series, you will definitely enjoy Book of the Dead! Michael Northrop weaves Egyptian lore into the fabric of modern-day New York City, creating a whirlwind adventure in the process.

In Book of the Dead, we meet Alex Sennefer, a sickly young lad who has spent all his life making sure to never overexert himself and to always take his pills. Luckily, Alex’s mom works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where there is no shortage of fascinating exhibitions that Alex can explore time and time again. Can you guess which room is Alex’s favourite? Yup, the Egyptian wing. But something’s been a little off. So, of course, Alex and Ren, his best friend, do a little investigating. What unfolds is a great big mysterious and fantastical adventure that involves scrolls, lost spells, amulets, a Death Walker, and a disappearance …

I really loved this story, and I can’t wait for the next installment, which lands in stores sometime in April or May. Northrop has presented so many mysteries – of which he’s answered practically none! Well, a few questions, maybe. But there are so many that remain unanswered, and the book leaves you wanting more, as any good book does. Alex is flawed, and I look forward to seeing how his character develops. He can be a bit reckless, mostly because he’s so passionate about doing things, which is why it’s great to have Ren next to him, keeping him balanced. I’ve always loved adventure stories with tandems or trios at the heart of them because, really, we can’t ever get through life completely on our own. Alex’s mom, Ren, and his friends at the museum all have his back … which means they’re all in danger, just as Alex is. Who knows what other mysteries (or, dare I hope, answers) get unearthed in the next book, Amulet Keepers. And gosh knows who – or what! – else will arise!

This book might just be your Next Great Read, so be sure to check it out, and let me know how you like it!


4 Squinkles


Michael Northrop’s Online Corners

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Thank you, Scholastic, for sending me a copy of
TombQuest #1: Book of the Dead.  All opinions and suggestions expressed herein are entirely my own; I received no compensation for them.

Mon ami thé #1

27 Mar

Ami Thé - Paris Winter 

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
[mystery, fashion, revenge, seduction, artistry, heroine]


Rooibos de Provence by David’s Tea
[blueberries, rosehips, rose petals, lavender, black and red currants]


Que pensez-vous ?

Days that End in Y (Vikki VanSickle)

27 Mar

Days that End in Y


If her Clarissa Delaney stories hadn’t already become some of my favourites, Vikki VanSickle would’ve sealed the deal for me with this one. Of all three books, Days that End in Y is the one that we read in the least amount of time (three days) because my Summer Squinks and I really devoured it. Even I was truly surprised at how quickly we flew through the chapters – I couldn’t assign them enough pages to read, and we had to be really careful (à la River Song) not to reveal spoilers just in case someone had not quite reached a particular scene.

What I really enjoyed about Days that End in Y was that although the wedding (Which wedding? You’ll have to read to find out!) seemingly took centre stage, the relationship between Clarissa and Benji was much more intriguing and compelling. And the ending really left me breathless. I couldn’t believe VanSickle’s audacity and brilliance in leaving me all emotionally spent, and (still) not knowing if she would tell me what happens next. Evil and completely brilliant, I tell you. I asked some of my Squinks from the summer what it was that made them read Days so quickly, but they couldn’t really put a finger on it … All they knew was that they wanted to know more.  This, my Squinks, is part of the magic of storytelling and part of the reason why VanSickle is truly on the same level as the likes of Judy Blume and Rick Riordan. You just want to read more. Even now, months later, I still wonder how the rest of Clarissa and Benji’s summer is going. Have they begun high school yet? If so, what outfits did Clarissa and Mattie wear?

I am so glad that what turned out to be a Vikki VanSickle summer worked out so well. It wasn’t planned (beyond the first book anyway), but some of the best things in life come by happenstance, as you know. If you read this series along with us, I hope you enjoyed the friends’ adventures as much as we did. More importantly, I hope these characters and their stories stay with you throughout the year. And if you’re so inclined, I encourage you to get in touch with VanSickle … Let her know how much you loved Clarissa Louise Delaney and that her stories made summer school not as horrendous as you thought it would be.


4.5 Squinkles


Vikki VanSickle’s Online Corners

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Chapters

Mes amis thés

27 Mar

If you know me, then you’re well aware that I very rarely venture into a book without a cup of coffee or tea nearby.  I find stories so much more enjoyable when a delicious beverage is only an arm’s length away.


Pinkies Up


Mes amis thés (Fr.) “my tea friends”

  • pairings of books and teas (and other beverages)
  • a play on the similar-sounding phrase mes amitiés (Fr.) “my friendships”

Tchin-tchin !


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