MMGM: Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator

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OH NOES. Woke up this morning and realized that I COMPLETELY FORGOT to do an MMGM! Alas, it’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions to do an MMGM every week, and I don’t want to quit this early in the year. Anyways! I shall post the link to this in the comments on Shannon’s website, so if you see it from there, THANKS SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING MY LATE LINK. 🙂

Anyways. Onto the review.

Ever since her father died, kooky Gilda Joyce has been working hard to sharpen her psychic skills. She’s determined to communicate with spirits from the Other Side and become a crack investigator of spooky, twisted mysteries. After wrangling an invitation to visit San Francisco relatives, Gilda discovers just how much her dreary, tight-lipped uncle and his strange, delicate daughter need her help to uncover the terrible family secret that has a tortured ghost stalking their home. From poignant to hair-raising and hilarious, this is a behind-the-scenes, tell-all account of the very first case in the illustrious career of Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator.

I think there’s five of these books…. Anyways, this is the first one. Gilda is a self-proclaimed “psychic investigator,” who took that title unto herself when her father died. Now, she tries tons of crazy methods to get spirits to talk to her. They sorta do at first, too… except they sorta don’t. That makes sense, right? Anyways Gilda Joyce is an awesome character.

She likes:

  1. her typewriter
  2. her best friend wendy
  3. wearing disguises
  4. wigs
  5. stiletto heels
  6. ouija boards
  7. people watching
  8. creative writing
  9. cat-eye sunglasses

She does not like:

  1. snobbish attitudes
  2. wasting time
  3. cleaning the bathroom
  4. tedious and repetitive homework
  5. people who try to hide the truth

I’m sure you can tell she’s a real interesting person. She frequently consults her Master Psychic’s Handbook, some excerpts from which are:

“For the psychic it is often the unexpected impulse that leads her to people in need of help, clues that solve crimes, and even spirits seeking her attention. Over time, you will recognize your own physical cues: you may have headaches, itches, aches, twitches, or other physical sensations that become your own personal psychic signals.”

—Balthazar Frobenius

Gilda’s psychic signal: An itch in her left ear.

“This writing technique is like being a ventriloquist for the dead. Handwriting can be another means of accessing a voice from beyond! I prefer writing by hand, using a tablet of paper made from a very rare type of tree that has ancient magical properties.”

—Balthazar Frobenius

Gilda’s automatic writing method: Typing on her father’s typewriter.

“Of all the psychic methods I’ve used, the pendulum is perhaps the most efficacious technique for ‘reading’ objects connected with an individual. I’ve found numerous missing persons and also located the bodies of murder victims this way. My pendulum was a gift from my grandmother, who was also a psychic…. Using this object along with a map or photograph, I have been able to detect the location of wrongful deaths.”

—Balthazar Frobenius

Gilda’s pendulum: an enormous Everlasting Gobstopper affixed to a lengthy piece of pink yarn.

I know I haven’t said much about the book itself, but to be fair, it is a mystery. Have a great week!

MMGM: Fantastic Beasts Screenplay

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Fantastic Beasts follows Newt, a well-meaning British magizoologist who brings his case of magical creatures to New York. After he bumps into Jacob, a No-Maj (the American word for “muggle”), Newt accidentally lets some of his animals escape.

These fantastic animals, including the Thunderbird, “a creature like a large albatross, its glorious wings shimmering with cloud- and sun-like patterns,” are the best part of the story. As Jacob says in the screenplay and in the movie which barely changes a thing from its source material, “I ain’t got the brains to make this up.” Only Rowling does.

By inadvertently releasing his creatures, Newt has committed a crime, and a former investigator from the Magical Congress of the United States of America, Tina Goldstein, wants to turn him in to authorities. While that’s happening, and Newt desperately tries to find his animals, there’s something else at play: Anti-wizard sentiment is on the rise, with protests against “witchcraft in America.” Also, a manipulative MACUSA security man, Percival Graves, keeps meeting with the shy Credence Barebone, a member of a family of anti-wizard extremists. *

Hey guys! I’m not really ready for another exausting week, but at least I have some great books to keep me company. For example, I finally got the Fantastic Beasts Screenplay! So far, it’s, well fantastic. 😉

Three Good Things:

  1. ALL OF THE CREATURES NAMES. Not that I don’t hang on to every word said by Eddie Redmayne/Newt Scamander, but he sure does have a loooot of creatures in that case, and having the book tell you what they are called and what they look like every time has been great.
  2. INSIGHT INTO WHAT THE CHARACTERS ARE THINKING. Okay, so, in theory actors/actresses do this, and the people acting in Fantastic Beasts did a pretty good job with it, revealing a lot, but there’s some things you just can’t know about a character until you can read their voice on a page, so I really feel like I understand the characters better now.
  3. THE ILLUSTRATIONS. Guys. Besides the fact that the cover is completely gorgeous between the lettering and the coloring and the layout etc., there are drawings of all the creatures in between each… um… chapter? Anyways, it’s really really really pretty and actually maybe my favorite thing about the book at the moment because PICTURES.

Three Bad Things:

  1. IT’S SHORT. It wasn’t meant to be a book, it was meant to be a screenplay, and “Newt does crazy mating dance with magical rhino” (sorry for spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet) takes up a lot less room/time to write down/read then it actually did in the movie. So yeah, it’s a quick read.
  2. HARD TO READ WITHOUT SEEING MOVIE FIRST. To be fair, I never read it until after I watched the movie, but as I’m reading it, I can see the movie playing in my head, and while have no evidence for this to be true, it seems to me like reading the book/screenplay without first seeing the movie could quickly become confusing and not entirely enjoyable. Besides which…
  3. NO EDDIE REDMAYNE. This one’s self explanatory, right? I had never heard of Eddie Redmayne before Fantastic Beasts, and now I have plans to send him piles upon piles of fanmail until he responds. And in the screenplay, well, you always have your imagination I suppose, but no Eddie.

That’s it for today! Enjoy your week, and tell me if you liked Fantastic Beasts! (either the movie OR the book version)

*taken from

MMGM: Lodestar

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It’s almost 10:00 on Sunday and I just realized that I forgot to do an MMGM. So I reverted to the classic: Keeper of the Lost Cities! I always have lots to say about it. Here goes:

Dark schemes unfold—and Sophie’s loyalty is pushed to the limit—in this thrilling fifth book in the bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is back in the Lost Cities—but the Lost Cities have changed. The threat of war hangs heavy over her glittering world, and the Neverseen are wreaking havoc.

The lines between friend and enemy have blurred, and Sophie is unsure whom to trust. But when she’s warned that the people she loves most will be the next victims, she knows she has to act.

A mysterious symbol could be the key—if only she knew how to translate it. Every new clue seems to lead deeper into her world’s underbelly and the Black Swan aren’t the only ones who have plans. The Neverseen have their own Initiative, and if Sophie doesn’t stop it, they might finally have the ultimate means to control her.

Okay, so this is a website dedicated to Shannon Messenger. What I’m going to say here, is why.

Three main elements of a book:

  1. The characters. This is probably my favorite thing about Keeper of the Lost Cities. I care about what happens to Sophie, Fitz, Keefe, Dex, Biana, Tam, Linh, etc. so much that it’s a little bit scary sometimes. Because Shannon Messenger just wrote them into existence and with a single sentence, she could kill them. She has all the power here. And what she’s done with that power so far is make me relate to all the characters, even some of the ones I don’t want to, because as this series has progressed, we’ve seen the good and the bad in every character. Lodestar, trying to have no spoilers here, but Lodestar introduces a new character, though not really new, and I’m super excited to find out what’s going to happen with her/him/it, because they have a lot of potential.
  2. The world. Sophie’s world is certainly different form ours, which is interesting because we (as humans) live so nearby to the other intelligent species, but are so far apart in so many non-literal ways. One really interesting thing about the Lost Cities is that they’re supposed to be perfect. Their world is supposed to be the perfect community, and yet it’s hopelessly broken. I think one of the major factors in this is that they can’t allow themselves to feel guilt, or they risk their minds breaking. So if something happens they feel bad about, they just erase the memory; pretend it never happened. How can a society truly function like that for long?
  3. The plot. Obviously, even with great characters, a book would be nothing without a story. One of my favorite parts about reading Shannon Messenger’s books is that she always surprises you. The story might have started out simple, but with every book it grows, and every page brings something unexpected– which sometimes you’re glad it happened, and sometimes not so much. But it keeps you turning the pages.

That’s a brief summary of why I love KOTLC, though I apologize for it not really being specifically Lodestar related. Next week I’ll do this on Saturday! Have a great week. 🙂

MMGM: The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop War (2007) is a children’s fantasy novel by Brandon Mull about Nate, and his friends, tomboyish Summer, cool Trevor, and smart Paul (who everyone calls Pigeon, due to an incident in third grade), are given magic candy by Belinda White, the owner of a new candy and ice cream shop, but the fun turns sour when she uses their trust to do terrible things, and they have to go to John Dart, an agent that works against bad magicians, and Sebastian, another candy shop owner, but a good magician, unlike Mrs. White.

I first read The Candy Shop War a long time ago, and it’s been well read ever since– in fact, the front cover of it fell off. None of the pages though, and that’s all that matters. This book makes you feel like a kid, excited about all the special candy and its powers. It makes you want to run to a candy shop right away, and buy the lot of it. At first, anyways.

I don’t think I read the plot description of this book before I first read it, because I remember the whole Mrs. White thing really throwing me through a loop. There’s a couple of other plot surprises, though. It’s one of my favorite one of Brandon Mull’s books.

I will say, though, that I didn’t like the sequel all that much. It was alright, of course, but it had this whole magical arcade with pins built into it, and it almost felt like it was set in a differently world, just with the same characters. I tend to think of The Candy Shop War as just a stand alone novel.

These kids have a really cute friendship, and I especially like Summer. She’s kinda awesome. This book also has plenty of action scenes,  but it’s really a very safe book. No goryness, no cussing, no kissing, just good ol’ friendship and magical candy.

John Dart’s a pretty crazy character. I’ve gotta say, it’s been a while since I’ve read this book. Any middle grade book, really, since my English teacher’s been keeping me so busy with vaguely boring reading material. What I mean to say,  is that I don’t quite remember if I liked him or not, but I’m pretty sure I did.

I really did like the creativity of the different types of candy. Müll didn’t just go Classic flying, super strength, talking to animals. I mean, he had those, but he also came up with some really awesome ideas for the candy that are powers I would love to try out.

Also, this book has an excellent ending.

I’d like to end by saying that the reason that I am joining the MMGM group on the second week of the year, instead of on the first, is because I did one last week, but accidentally mistyped Shannon Messengwr’s email. Oops. Anyways, if you’d like to read that one, on Lost in Lexicon, by Pendred Noyce, just scroll down to my previous post and enjoy! Have a great week!


MMGM: Lost in Lexicon


“If this is an adventure, we should just plunge in…”

When thirteen-year-old cousins Ivan and Daphne go on a treasure hunt in the rain one summer day, they never expect to stumble into a whole new world where words and numbers run wild.

After the cousins outwit a plague of punctuation, grateful villagers beg them to find Lexicon’s missing children, who have been enticed away by dancing lights in the sky. Trekking between villages in search of clues, the cousins encounter a talking thesaurus, a fog of forgetting, the Mistress of Metaphor, a panel of poets, feuding parts of speech, and the illogical mathematicians of Irrationality. When a careless Mathemystical reflects them across the border into the ominous Land of Night, their peril deepens. Kidnapped, imprisoned, and mesmerized—with time running out—will Ivan and Daphne find a way to solve the mystery of the lights in the sky and restore the lost children of Lexicon to their homes?

Hello! And Happy New Year,  y’all! I don’t know about you, but I’m rather excited about 2017. I have big plans for it. One of which is to write a MMGM every week this year! What with vacations and all, I might miss a week, but I shall certainly try not to! In other news, I’ll also be posting fan art and news about Shannon Messenger’s books on here, so if you have something to share with me, please email me at (no, I’m not official yet, but maybe some day) 😉

That out of the way, onto the book! This book is, truly, an adventure in words and numbers as Ivan and Daphne battle their way through Lexicon. There are also llamas, bees, and fog. Daphne’s specialty is with words, particularly poetry. She has memorized dozens of poems, and is fascinated with different word rhythms. Ivan, on the other hand, loves math. He is an expert at deciphering patterns, making sense of them, and putting those patterns into good use in creative and fun ways.

One thing I will say about this book is that although I do believe it is a middle grade book, I have reread it multiple times as I have gotten older, and I want to reread it again at some point in the near future, and the older I get, the more I appreciate the book. Or, not exactly the older I get, but the smarter I get, and the two seem to generally correlate. I must warn you, the math in this book is complicated, and the poetic terms and literary devices mentioned are not commonly known. However, you can enjoy this book simply as an adventure book. It’s funny, it’s exciting, it’s creative. You don’t have to understand it entirely to read it; in fact, you should probably go into it expecting not to understand all of it. Just skim those parts, and hopefully you’ll still love it as much as I did.

If you do this, though, please, please reread it when you’re older. Even if you’re not the rereading kind of person, every time I open it up I love it more than the time before. So read it if you want a humorous adventure book, if that’s what you want out of it, or, if you want a stretch of the mind in a new and clever way, pick it up, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Enjoy the first week of 2017! Until next time!

NOTE: the reason this wasn’t on her website is because I accidentally sent it to instead of *sigh* Next week!