Reading Roundup | April 2017

Reading Roundup April 2017: Book reviews for Everland by Wendy Spinali and The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

So much for focusing on my bookshelves for the reading roundup. Haha. Last time we went to the library to get books for Rhys, I decided out of the blue to look at the YA novels to see if anything caught my eyes. A few things did, so I grabbed them. Plus, I had to read a book for my church’s book club.

But, what surprised me, even more, is that Justin spent almost every night reading a biglong fantasy adventure book called Theft of Swords. He had wanted to read it for a long time–friends said he would love it. Many, many, many, many months ago, he bought it. Slowly, but surely he made his way through it, the majority being this month. I can’t tell you how sexy it was to see my husband who hates reading do nothing but read in the evening! My dream of having my husband and I read in bed together came true! He finished and now has bought the second book.

Just goes to show you, “The only people who don’t like reading are those who haven’t found the right book yet.”

Reading Roundup April 2017: Book reviews for Everland by Wendy Spinali and The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

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Everland by Wendy Spinale

Book review for Everland by Wendy Spinali for April 2017 Reading Roundup

It was the cover that really caught my eyes: a steampunk Tinkerbell? Sure, why not! Everland is a steampunk reimagining of Peter Pan. During the war (assumed WWII), the Germans bombed a chemical weapon station in England, effectively releasing a virus that killed off all adults and is slowly decimating the child population. H.O.O.K., the leader of the German marauders, is trying to find a cure so he can leave England. Gwen meets Pete, Belle, and the Lost Boys of Everland as she tries to save her sister who was captured by H.O.O.K.

There is no Neverland past the second star to the right, no pixie dust, no magic or fantasy. It’s pure steampunk. Definitely different, but I think it was a cool reimagining. It was a little predicitive and there were some things that didn’t seem realistic (if you can consider steampunk to be realistic). But the thing that really annoyed me was that many scenes dragged on with arguing dialogue that went around and around. For instance, before coming up with a plan, the kids would argue, would come up with a plan, would say “but I don’t want to lose you”, come up with another plan, so on and so forth. It kind of dragged on.

But, I did like the character of Belle. She was still jealous of Gwen’s attention from Pete. She was still feisty and stubborn. And, she had steampunk mechanical wings. I also like how H.O.O.K. lost his hand due to Gwen rather than Pete.

If you love Peter Pan, I would definitely recommend this book to you!!

Steampunk Peter Pan? YES please! Click To Tweet

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Book review for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin for Reading Roundup April 2017

Sixteen people have been convinced to rent an apartment in Sunset Towers, across from the famous Westing Estate. Sam Westing, a well-known inventor, and millionaire, has just died, naming these sixteen residents as heirs. But, to get the money, they have to play a “game” to figure out clues Westing left behind to find the murderer.

After reading the first 1/3, it reminded me a bit of the movie, Clue, starring Tim Curry. It kind of had the same dry humorous “murder mystery dinner” feel to it. At first, I felt there were way too many characters to keep track of, but as I kept reading and their personalities became more apparent, it was easier. I also wasn’t sure if I actually like the style of writing, nor who “won” the game (I won’t spoil it for you).

But, I did enjoy the book. It was hard to put it down. Raskin did a great job leading you to believe the murderer was one person because of evidence, but then completely proves you wrong. She does this multiple times, so it definitely wasn’t predictable. My church has book club tonight, so it’ll be fun and interesting to see what the others say about the book.

Murder mystery dinner book? Why not? Click To Tweet

This year, I’ve decided to reopen up Reading Roundup to other to linkup with! I’ve partnered up with two good blogger friends who love books too!

Meet Your Hosts


Tayler from The Morrell Tale | Charlene from Enduring All Things | Autumn from Stay Gold Autumn

How It Works:

  • Reading Roundup will happen the last Tuesday of every month! The linkup will be open for two weeks!
  • There really aren’t “rules.” This is free and open. We are book lovers and want to read about your books!
  • Link up a post of a book review you did from this month. Or, a roundup of book reviews you did this month.
  • Try to hop around and engage on other people’s book reviews! Make some new friends!
  • Grab this pinnable image to put on the bottom of your post! (But, no pressure to do so!)
Reading Roundup

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Ok Everland looks awesome! And the Westing Game seems really interesting too. I would have never thought to read a book about a murder mystery game.

    P.S. I emailed you about the linkup code from my work email address. Wanted to let you know in case it went to spam or something.

    • Everland is totally worth it!

  • My husband randomly started reading a book this month. Haha

    • I’m so proud of him!

  • I read The Westing Game for school ages ago, but I loved it! This is the first year that’s we’ve ever gotten to lay in bed reading together–that’s because my Mom gave Angel a Dake’s Bible commentary for Christmas and The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers–apparently it’s theological study that is enough get him lost in a book…

    • My little sister read it last year in 10th grade. I dont think I’ve ever heard of it before now.

  • Karin Holmes

    I can’t wait to get reading a few of those books now. Thank you!

    • Let me know what you think!

  • Wow Everland sounds like a really good read–I’m going to have to check it out at my library!

  • Oh my gosh The Westing Game has my name all over it! All I am reading at the moment is mysteries.

    • I think you’d really enjoy it!