***The Tales Compendium blog is currently on hiatus. However you can still following along via the Instagram feed!***

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

Title: The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Author: Melissa Keil

Release Date: 1st September 2014

My Rating: 5/5

Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends.

The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details:

Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared.
And the boy who has been her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails. 
And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving.

Also, the world might be ending – which is proving to be awkward.

As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. But when it comes to figuring out her heart, Armageddon might turn out to be the least of her problems.

In A Nutshell:
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a feel-good story with apple strudel, comic books, great friends, and one very adorable, swoon-worthy boy.

My Review:
Alba’s life has always been about her and Grady (besties since the day they were born), comic books, her illustrations, her mum’s bakery, and Eden Valley. But that all changes during the summer after she finishes year 12. 

One of my favourite things about The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is Alba’s friendship group: Grady, Eddie, Caroline, Tia and Pete. The six of them are so close and even though they like a multitude of different things, they are a strong group that is always there for one another. Anyone would be lucky to be in a group like theirs. Unfortunately, with the summer holidays upon them, decisions have to be made. 

Grady and Caroline are desperate to escape their small town and know exactly what they want: for Alba and Tia to go with them. But Tia’s not so sure, especially since her boyfriend Pete thinks he wants to stay in Eden Valley. And Alba, who used to think she had it all worked out, is having second thoughts. Does she stay in Eden with her mum and the bakery, or head to the city with Grady and a potential art-school placement? The prospect of going their separate ways at the end of the year is one that many teens deal with each year, as is the anxiety of what direction their lives will take. 

Adding to the excitement is Armageddon, which a once unknown YouTuber has predicted and declared the only place that will survive is Alba’s town, Eden Valley. Suddenly their valley is filled with outsiders believing the world is about to end on New Years Eve and they are going to party until the end comes, and then have a front row seat to whatever is left. 

For Alba, it all becomes too much when her quiet town turns into a version of Woodstock and the publicity brings back an old friend, now a daytime soap star. Daniel’s arrival sends Alba’s group into a little spin and creates a wedge between Alba and Grady’s once unbreakable friendship. With so much uncertainty in her future, Alba holes herself up in her bedroom illustrating her new character, Cinnamon Girl, and avoiding having to make a decision. Change isn’t always easy, and for Alba, it’s all happening at once.

The potential end of the world mirrors their own personal unknowns for what the future holds, making it the perfect setting to decide what really matters in life and where happiness is found, sometimes in the most unexpected places. From the author who gave us Life in Outer Space, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a feel-good story with apple strudel, comic books, great friends, and one very adorable, swoon-worthy boy.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Harry Potter Party!

It all started with a letter...

Last night I was lucky enough to be one of twelve guests to attend dinner in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Hosted by Bryton Taylor of Food in Literature, we dined on food found throughout the Harry Potter books and marvelled at the talent, time and effort that Bryton put in to recreating the world of Harry Potter. Throughout the night which was attended by friends (many who are book bloggers and food bloggers), we constantly discovered new details that added to the authenticity of the night.

I'll let the pictures tell the story but a great night was had by all.

What are we studying this year?

Advanced Potion Making, anyone?

Preparing potions

Plenty of supplies in the potions storeroom

Thankfully, Snape was not present.

As usual, the ceiling was bewitched to resemble the night sky.

Don't forget to speak clearly when you travel by Floo Powder.

Dobby stopped by for a visit.

The Chamber of Secrets has been opened...
...but never fear, Professor Sprout has some
mandrakes that are almost ready.

As you exit the Great Hall you can pay a visit to Herbology
where the mandrake are growing up nicely! 

The bathroom was complete with a recording of Moaning Myrtle
to keep us company and our very own stained-glass mermaid. 

"Is it illegal to drink and apparate?"

Find Bryton's Butterbeer recipe here.

If you haven't already found your way to Food in Literature, I suggest you check it out. Bryton recreates food found in books and often throws themed parties from which she shares how-to guides on her website. As a long time friend of Bryton's, I have been to many different parties and she just out-does herself time and time again. I don't know how she isn't working behind the scenes in Hollywood!
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