Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: Confessions of a Shopaholic

TITLE: Confessions of a Shopaholic
AUTHOR: Sophie Kinsella
PART OF A SERIES: Book 1 in Shopaholic series
GENRE: adult, chick-lit, romance, series
PREMISE: Becky is going broke. Her shopping habit? Not helping. What's a addicted consumer to do?
MY REVIEW: This book was just all right for me. Honestly, I don't get the fuss made over these books. It was pretty standard chick-lit formula: female going through personal crisis/event(in this case, going broke), hot romantic interest, quirky best friend, supportive parents, etc.
There were parts of it I enjoyed. Some of Becky's inner commentary was hysterical and Kinsella does a great job of capturing what goes through a consumers mind as they buy stuff/justify over spending etc. But really, it's just average. Plus, I found Becky to be rather annoying at times. I do see why people like it. It goes by quick and is just plain fun. But it's not the amazing book that people kept telling me it was.
WHO SHOULD READ: Chick-lit fans, romance fans, people who have seen the movie
MY RATING: Three out of five shopping bags

First in a Series
Support Your Local Library
One Hundred Plus Books
12 by 12 Challenge in February

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book Review: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod

TITLE: Eighth Grade Bites
PART OF A SERIES: Book 1 in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
AUTHOR: Heather Brewer
GENRE: young adult, vampire, series, fantasy
PREMISE: Vladimir Tod is a vampire stuck going to school, dealing with the usual: girls, friends, bullies, and wierd new teachers who may or may not have murdered his parents.
MY REVIEW: I enjoyed this a lot more then I thought I would. I'm a little tired of the vampire craze to be honest. I've said it since high school: if you've read one vampire series; you've basically read them all with maybe a few changes here and there. The only ones that have stood out for me is Sookie Stackhouse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A lot of the other vampire books are usually pretty alike. So I was pleasantly surprised by this series. It is different. It's in the point of view of the vampire for a change and that vampire has to deal with that hell we all have to go through: high school.
While I did enjoy the book, there are flaws. Some of the logic is a bit skewed (vampire having a kid?) and Vlad isn't as developed a character as I would have liked. But I'm hoping that's because he's technically still a teen and therefore is still developing. It was also rather rushed and not a lot of stuff was explained but again, I'm hoping the stuff not explained is explained in later books.
But while there are flaws it's enjoyable. Unfortunately, it is being published at a time when there are way to many other books like it so I'm not exactly eager to spend all my money on the books just yet. I do reccomend checking it out from the library though to see if you'll be interested. For vampire fans it also will be a treat, especially if you're sick of Twilight.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, vampire fans tired of Twilight, vampire fans in general, if you happen to be curious about it
MY RATING: Three and a half out of five vampire fangs

For the following challenges:
First in a Series on Royal Review Blogs
YA Challenge
One Hundred Plus Books
Support Your Local Library
12 by 12 in February

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book to Movie Review: Percy Jackson

MOVIE TITLE: Percy Jackson and The Lighting Thief
BASED ON: The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riorden
SOME OF THE ACTORS: Pierce Brosden, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean
RELEASED: February 2010
MY REVIEW: If you look at this movie as a movie that was not adapted from a book. It is good. It has great action sequences, doesn't slow down, awesome special effects, and the banter between Percy, Anabeth, and Grover is great. I also predict we will be seeing more of these three kids because they are actually pretty good considering they've never done this. The guy who played Grover was hysterical and I predict he will be a great comedy actor someday. I also did like that Anabeth was kick butt.
However...this is based on a book and they made WAY too many changes for me not to notice and get annoyed by it. For starters, the three main characters don't even look like how they're described. They're all too old, Anabeth is supposed to be BLONDE (and not as kick butt but I'll ignore that because it actually isn't an annoyance), and Grover...yeah. They cut scenes, which is to be expected, but then they also added scenes. For instance as hysterical as Rosario Dawson was as Persephone, WAS NOT IN THE BOOK. Also the Underworld looked nothing like how it's described. Ares is cut out entirely and there is no mention of Kronos so it's made to look like Hades is the bad guy and Luke was acting on his own. The Gods aren't even costumed right, I really missed Poseiden's tropical shirt. I also didn't care for how they made it Zeus's fault that the god's don't talk to their kids because in the books it was just the god's nature.
Just a lot of stuff didn't jive and it was annoying because I really loved the first book and it didn't need all these changes because it was awesome enough on it's own. So long story short, if you ignore the books, it's a fun action movie. But if like me, you loved the first's a disappointment though still a little fun.
MY RATING: Three out of Five demi-gods

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review: The Queen of Cool

TITLE: The Queen of Cool
AUTHOR: Cecil Castellucci
GENRE: young adult, drama
PREMISE: Libby becomes bored with her popular life and does something unexpected that changes her perspective on things.
MY REVIEW: To be frank? I didn't care for this book. I appreciated the message behind the book. The author did try to point out to teens to try new things and be more open minded and what not and I agree with that and can get behind that.
However, the book was way too predictable. As in, I saw the ending a mile away (I even predicted who she would end up with in like the second chapter). The characters were stereotyped to death. There was very little in the way of character developement. I didn't care for the writing style, but that's my personal preference, and nothing against the author. As a result it was just...boring. Also very short. You could probably finish it in about two hours. A well intentioned book, but I just wish the author had put more thought and originality into the story.
WHO SHOULD READ: Well...tweens/teens may enjoy it...
MY RATING: Two and a half out of five popular kids

12 by 12 Challenge in February
Support Your Local Library
One Hundred Plus Books
all hosted on J-Kaye's Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: Seeing Redd

TITLE: The Looking Glass Wars: Seeing Redd
AUTHOR: Frank Beddor
PART OF A SERIES: Book 2 in Looking Glass Wars Trilogy
GENRE: young adult, trilogy, fantasy, fiction rewrite, action
PREMISE: The Looking Glass Wars continue with Alyss learning how to be a queen, dealing with jerky neighboring kingdoms and Redd who makes a comeback.
MY REVIEW: I confess this trilogy is probably going to be a tad bit strange for the average reader and Alice in Wonderland purists may not be thrilled with it. But for me it was fun. I enjoyed seeing the twists Beddor had on Wonderland and it's a very exciting book that keeps you reading from beginning to end. The villians are also good in this. Redd is snarky (and a little cheesy to some extent) and Arch...well I kept wanting to smack him everytime he spewed junk about women so that is probably a mark of a good love to hate villian.
The only downside to this book is that the characters...aren't as well developed as I would like. But that's probably because they are in the midst of a war/running a country and when you focus on action, character growth can sometimes get lost in the shuffle and I think that was what happened here. I also didn't particularly care for some of the blandness of the writing.
But other then those two things, the trilogy is still fun and will keep you interested in it. I look forward to book three (just to warn you, the author leaves a mean cliffhanger) and I really hope this gets made into a movie like Beddor has said he's trying to do. Because this reads like it would make an awesome movie. It also is the perfect thing to read if you're gearing up for the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland flick like I am. Does it not look awesome?
WHO SHOULD READ: Alice in Wonderland junkies, fiction rewrite fans, if you like good action books
MY RATING: four out of five card soldiers

For the following challenges:
12 by 12 Challenge in February
One Hundred Plus Books
both challenges hosted on J-Kaye's Blog

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This is a weekly meme hosted by One Person's Journey through a World of Books. Here is a list of what I read last week:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (and out in paperback February 23rd for those interested in reading it)
The Door Within Trilogy Book 1: The Door Within by Wayne Batson Thomas
Both of these books are reviewed on this blog (followers/commenting most welcome)

Currently I'm reading:
The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy Book 2: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor (will most likely be done with that today)
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Emma by Jane Austen
Sookie Stackhouse 5: Dead as a Doornail by Chalaine Harris

I will be reading these next as they are library books:
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 1: Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review: The Door Within

TITLE: The Door Within Trilogy Book 1: The Door Within
AUTHOR: Wayne Thomas Batson
GENRE: childrens, trilogy, fantasy
PREMISE: Aiden finds a door to a magical kingdom and goes on an adventure.
MY REVIEW: If you try to picture Lord of the Rings mashed up with The Lion, The Witch, and The pretty much have this book. It's like every other quest story that I've seen and therefore it's just not that memorable or interesting to me. I will most likely not be picking up the second book.
Kids however, may get a kick out of it. So if you are looking for a book to give boys or fantasy buffs in general then this may be a book for them to take a look at.
WHO SHOULD READ: elementary/middle school boys looking for fantasy books to read
RATING: Three out of Five knights

For the Following Challenges:
12 by 12 Challenge in February
Support Your Local Library
One Hundred Plus Books

Booking Through Thursday...

You may have noticed–the Winter Olympics are going on. Is that affecting your reading time? Have you read any Olympics-themed books? What do you think about the Olympics in general? Here’s your chance to discuss!

Nope. The Olympics doesn't effect my reading. No current events effect my reading as a rule, unless you count maybe reading a book before the movie comes out. I've read maybe two olympic theme books: My Sergei by Ekaterina Gordieva and Michelle Kwans autobiography. I also guess maybe the young adult series Silver Blades kind of counts because it's about figure skaters and one of them goes on to the Olympics but other then that? Not much.
From those books, you can probably see that my favorite sport in the winter olympics is figure skating. I've been watching that mainly, along with some snowboarding and speedskating but not much else. Then of course I watch the opening and closing ceremonys (how awesome was that opening ceremony?). The Olympics are fun and I like the spirit of it. Other then that, I don't really have a for or against opinion of the games.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WWW Wednesdays...

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:
The Door Within: Book 1 of The Door Within Trilogy by Wayne Thomas Batson
Emma by Jane Austen (Kindle book version)
Sookie Stackhouse book 5: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (Kindle book version)

I recently finished reading:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Mortal Instruments trilogy, book 2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Both books are reviewed on this blog

I will definitely be reading these next:
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Looking Glass Wars Trilogy Book 2: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Sookie Stackhouse 6: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris(Kindle version)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: Wintergirls

TITLE: Wintergirls
AUTHOR: Laurie Halse Anderson
GENRE: young adult, drama
PREMISE: Basically is about a girl with deep problems dealing with grief and her own issues.
MY REVIEW: This is a difficult review to write because this book itself is difficult. The subject matter (girl going through grief, having an eating disorder, and many other pshycological problems) is probably not one that people would want to read on their free time. I myself had to put it down several times because it tends to be downright depressing at times. So yeah, a book for enjoyment, this is not.
But a powerful book? Most definitely. I admit, I normally don't care for the writing style that Anderson uses in this but for this particular story it worked really well because you really started to feel what Lia was feeling (hence the depressing bits). The author really got into this characters head and you just feel for this girl so much. Some parents may not care for the topic of this book but I'm sorry, the stuff going on in here goes on in real life. It is a sad thing, but it does happen. This book points out the consequences.
So book for enjoyment? Not really. But I do think this is a powerful book that needs to be read. This is definitely one of the best books in 2009 (in my opinion anyway).
WHO SHOULD READ: everyone who is inclined to pick it up
RATING: five out of five tissue boxes (you will need them)

For the following challenges:
12 by 12 reading challenge in February
One Hundred Plus Books
Support Your Local Library

Teaser Tuesdays...

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here's my Teaser:

Book: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

"What about Lia?" Mira leans forward to see me better. "Do you want to do something special? You guys were best friends."

From Wintergirls, page 80

This is a good book, it just really tugs at your emotions a lot, I've found that I've had to put it down for awhile for reprieves because jeez. It's been a long time since a book has choked me up like this one has.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What Are You Reading Monday Post

This is a weekly meme now hosted by One Person's Journey Through a World of Books. So here's what I'm reading this week:

Today, I just finished The Mortal Instruments, Book 2-City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. My review is here.

This week I plan on finishing up the following:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Door Within Trilogy Book 1: The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Hopefully I will make good progress on my Kindle book versions of Emma by Jane Austen and Sookie Stackhouse book 5: Dead as a Doornail as well.

I plan on starting:
The Looking Glass Wars book 2: Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor

Book Review: City of Ashes

TITLE: The Mortal Instruments book 2: City of Ashes
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
PART IN SERIES: Book 2 in a trilogy
GENRE: young adult, fantasy, romance, action, trilogy
PREMISE: In the second book of the Mortals Instruments trilogy, Clary struggles with the revelation that Jace is her brother, Valentine who is gathering the Mortal Instruments still, and Simon who goes through a major change.
MY REVIEW: I won't lie, this series is not overly unique. It's pretty on par with what's going on in YA fantasy right now (hot guys, love triangle, easy to read). The writing is average and the characters, while fun are not totally fleshed out. But that is easily made up by the fact that the series is just FUN. The author does have talent in the fact that she knows her audience and manages to keep you entertained throughout with action and witty dialogue.
I also must say, I think Clare's writing has improved since the first book. Some of my issues with the first book were that the plot seemed to jump around a lot and half the time it didn't seem to have a direction. She has much better control of the plot in book 2 and her descriptions have also gotten better in the fact that she has quit using overly flowery prose. I also know the brother/sister thing probably squicked many people but I think she handled it well and realistically and at least she wrote about it! She could have easily gone the safe route and ignored it completely, i.e. Jace and Clary suddenly just act buddy buddy and their feelings magically disapear until it's convenient. So kudos for her for having the nerve to explore it even though it probably made a lot of her readers uncomfortable.
So maybe this book isn't a literary masterpiece, but it is highly entertaining and keeps you addicted throughout. I personally cannot wait to read the third book and am looking forward to Clockwork Angel.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, Buffy fans (it's very similar to Buffys tone), fantasy/action fans, if you just like an entertaining fantasy yarn
MY RATING: four out of five shadowhunters

For the following challenges:
12 by 12 in February
One Hundred Plus Books

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Top Ten Book Couples...

Since it's Valentines Day (happy V-Day by the way) I thought I'd do a post on my favorite couples from books. Please note, a lot of these aren't strictly romance books and favorites are in no particular order.

Aragorn/Arwen from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R.Tolkien-What can I say? These two were probably the first major fantasy couple I adored and I still think the couple is sweet. They actually only have a few scenes together in the whole trilogy but those few scenes together are enough to convince you they belong together.

Wesley/Buttercup from The Princess Bride by William Goldman-Another really sweet couple. Yes, I am aware the book is satire, but these two are still a fun couple and I find them a lot more believable then half the real romances out there that weren't satire.

Po/Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore-These two are rather unconventional and I love that about them. Their romance is soft and built on trust and friendship.

Howl/Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones-These two crack me up. Howl can be such a drama queen and Sophie gets annoyed with him very easily but despite the fact that he drives her crazy and probably vice versa, you can see the underlying affection they have for each other.

Numair/Daine from The Immortals Quartet by Tamora Pierce-This couple probably makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable: Numair is over ten years older then Daine. But they just WORK so much that you grow to not care.

Darcy/Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-I don't really have to explain the appeal of this couple do I? Everyone who has read Pride and Prejudice knows why these two are romance gold.

Puck/Sabrina from The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley-Before people start screaming about Sabrina being only eleven and Puck being...Puck. Please read the whole series. These two are great (and hysterical to boot). Sweet and dysfunctional all at the same time. Their wierd relationship is half the fun of the Sisters Grimm series.

Ron/Hermione from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling-This is probably another one of those couples I don't have to explain to people who've read Harry Potter. The evidence is in all the books. Their relationship is one of the most entertaining things in Harry Potter.

Michael/Mia from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot-Pay no attention to the movie sequel that didn't follow the book, these two did stick it out, all through Mia's crazy life, a breakup, and many other things. Half the reason to read Princess Diaries was to see if she and Michael made it.

Will/Lyra from The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillup Pullman-(spoiler alert for those who haven't read the last book) This couple is heart breaking because no matter how much you wish they could stay and be together they can't and end up making the sacrifice.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

On My Wishlist...

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City that allows us to share the books we haven't bought yet but are waiting to be bought and devoured.

The Darkest Powers book 2: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong-I've just recently discovered this trilogy but I'm waiting till the second book comes out in paperback in order to read it because the version of the first book I have is paperback and I have this thing about my books matching.
Fire by Kristin Cashore-Graceling was all kinds of awesome and I bet this one will be too. But again, waiting till paperback.
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr-I will be buying this as soon as I a) Finish City of Ashes, and b)Get up to a bookstore. Can't wait to read it, because Wicked Lovely was really addicting.

Book Review: Beastly

TITLE: Beastly
AUTHOR: Alex Flinn
GENRE: young adult, fantasy, fairy tale retelling, romance
PREMISE: The Beast tells his side of the story in a modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
MY REVIEW: Honest? I don't get the big fuss that has been made online about this book. I mean, it was enjoyable to some extent but really, it wasn't completely unique. It was like every other retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The only unique things were a) It was from the Beast's point of view, b) it was set in today's time, and c) the witch who cast a spell stuck around to see what happened. Other then that, if you've read Beauty and the Beast and other retellings...don't expect anything different. It is still essentially the same story. So you pretty much know how it's going to end.
But again, this doesn't mean it's horrible. I did enjoy it to some extent. I loved Kendra the witch and Kyle was adorable when he was trying to figure out how to make Lindy like him, and the romance is sweet. It was a decent retelling. I'm just saying, I don't get everyone saying it's phenomenal because it's actually a pretty average retelling (fairy tale retellings are weakness of mine so I've read a lot of them and I can vouch for this). But other then that confusion, it's a good book that I reccomend to people like me who love fairy tale retellings.
Also, evidently there's going to be a movie version of this coming out this summer. After reading it I have to say, I don't get the casting. Vanessa Hudgens looks NOTHING like Lindy who is um yeah, plain? With RED hair, freckles, and crooked teeth? Plus, as much as I adore Neil Patrick Harris, who is he playing? None of these characters look remotely like him. I will reserve judgement until we see a trailer but I have a feeling this movie is going to be an epic fail in the books to movies department.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Beauty and the Beast, fairy tale retelling lovers, anyone who likes sweet romances
RATING: three and a half out of five roses

For the following challenges:
One Hundred Plus Books
Support Your Local Library
12 by 12 in February

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: The Wizard Test

TITLE: The Wizard Test
AUTHOR: Hilari Bell
GENRE: young adult, fantasy
PREMISE: In a world on the brink of war, Dayven is tested for wizardry. Only problem is, he doesn't want to be a wizard.
MY REVIEW: This...was really short. I felt it ended rather abruptly and I wasn't very satisfied with how it ended. That isn't to say it wasn't good. Like all of Bell's work, she does a great job of having difficult characters and throwing them into that muddy gray area. You may not neccessarily like the main characters, but her stories do always make you think about things. Also, like most of her works, she has created an interesting world. I think this is the first book I've seen that has wizards as outcasts and not trusted by anyone. That was an interesting aspect for me.
But like I said before, it was really short and I felt more could have been explored. But for a really short story it packed a punch and got a lot in. Just not enough to completely satisfy.
WHO SHOULD READ: people who like well done fantasy worlds and don't mind no romance
MY RATING: Three out of five wizards

For the following challenges:
12 by 12 February challenge on J-Kaye's blog
Support Your Local Library challenge on J-Kaye's blog
One Hundred Plus Books on J-Kaye's blog

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Booking Through Thursday Post...

How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?

In the book Gifted Hands by brilliant surgeon Ben Carson, one of the things that turned his life around was his mother’s requirement that he and his brother read books and write book reports for her. That approach worked with him, but I have been afraid to try it. My children don’t need to “turn their lives around,” but they would gain so much from reading and I think they would enjoy it so much if they would just stop telling themselves, “I just don’t like to read.”

This is a difficult question I think because it ultimately depends on the child in question. Every person is different therefore there will be a lot of different responses to different methods. Therefore while the book report thing may have worked for that kid, I think it's a bit excessive myself and if my Mom had tried it with me I probably would have resented it.
The thing about reading is that I don't think you can enforce a love of reading on a kid/person. They are either going to like to read or they aren't. What you can do is give them incentives to like reading/encourage it. For example if they like stuff like Nancy Drew and the other so-called bad books for kids that you don't necessarily think is worthwhile, please, let them read it. The point is that they are reading something and they enjoy it; that is good and it may encourage them to move on to bigger better things like the classics/other books. Don't force literature down their throats, because that may backfire on you.
One thing I know that worked for me (believe it or not, I actually once hated to read as a kid) was that my Mom signed me up for my own library card. She then made it a weekly/bi-weekly habit of going to the library and letting me choose any book I wanted (within reason, she told me to wait on Sherlock Holmes when I was seven at the time). Gradually I became excited about going back to the library and finding new books/stories to explore. I also know this has been done with other kids and has worked before.
But ultimately, it has to be up to the kid. Let the kid decide if he/she wants to be a reader. If they don't turn out to be big readers then just learn to let it go. That's who they are and they won't appreciate you lamenting over the fact every time they turn around and may resent reading even more as a result. Just point out to them that they will be facing reading a lot in school/work so it probably would be a good thing if they enjoyed it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays...

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Current Read: Mortals Instruments 2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

"Ask Jonathan," said the Inquisitor. "He borrowed a motorcycle from the head of the city's vampire clan and he flew it to the boat. Isn't that right, Jonathan?"
From page 289

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Review: Unicorn Chronicles 2-Song of the Wanderer

TITLE: Unicorn Chronicles 2: Song of the Wanderer
AUTHOR: Bruce Coville
GENRE: childrens, fantasy, series, quest story
PREMISE: In the second unicorns book Cara searches for her grandmother in the land of Luster.
MY REVIEW: I've recently rediscovered this series and reread the first book last year then I found out that apparently Coville finely did do a sequel for it (two in fact) and no one told me! So I was kind of happy to see this book.
Now reading this series is quite different when you're an adult. When I was a girl reading this book, I was all about the unicorns and the fact that there was an actual strong female lead (in those days, strong female leads were rare, thankfully that's changed). As an adult, I still enjoyed it but I also noticed some of the writing flaws such as the fact that kind of Mary Sueish...not a total one but really, we don't get much of her personality at all, other then the fact that she's brave.
But this series is aimed at kids and kids will probably eat up this second one as much as the first one (there is a mighty good cliffhanger, I'll admit). So for the target audience it's great, for adults...enjoyable but not exactly brilliant. But you won't kick yourself over the head if your kid wants to read it. So for that I give it a high rating.
WHO SHOULD READ: girls who are going through the horse/unicorn phase, children looking for adventure type stories with strong female leads
RATING: four out of five unicorns

For the following challenges:
Support Your Local Library
One Hundred Plus books
12 by 12 reading challenge for February

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: Blue Heaven

TITLE: Blue Heaven
GENRE: adult, mystery, thriller
PREMISE: Two children go off fishing and end up witnessing a murder. When the suspects turn out to be the good guys they have very few people they can trust.
MY REVIEW: I honestly don't have much to say about this book. It's not absolutely horrible, but it's not super amazing either. It's just one in a long shelf of thriller books. Though I did find the relationship between Annie/William and Jess to be endearing, however the author didn't develop it enough for my taste.
So if you're into thrillers then go ahead and pick it up. But honestly? It's not exactly a must read. Unless again, you happen to like the genre or the author.
WHO SHOULD READ: people in the mood for a thriller/mystery
RATING: three out of five policemen (who may or may not be the bad guy)

For the following challenges:
One Hundred plus books on J-Kaye's Blog
Support Your Local Library on J-Kaye's Blog

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Finds, Feb. 5

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa-I've been seeing reviews of this book on blogs and it looks really interesting.
Incarceron-Book 1 by Catherine Fisher-Saw this in my local Borders and I love the cover and again, looks interesting.
Radient Shadows; Wicked Lovely 4 by Melissa Marr. Out April 20th!-I've just read Wicked Lovely this past week and am dying to read the rest.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Book Review: Wicked Lovely

TITLE: Wicked Lovely
AUTHOR: Melissa Marr
GENRE: young adult, urban fantasy, romance, faeries
PREMISE: Aislinn has always been able to see faeries. Keeping to the rules has kept her safe up until the faeries changed the rules on her and she can no longer ignore them.
MY REVIEW: I was iffy about this book because I kept hearing that it was similar to Twilight and I was pretty unimpressed with the Twilight series. But my library got a copy of it and so I figured I'd pick it up and my feelings changed pretty quickly. First I was skeptical, then I was intrigued, then I was kind of hooked, and by the end I totally loved it. Reading it now, I don't really get the comparisons to Twilight, the only thing it has in common is hot male leads and romances but that describes about every other YA book nowadays. To me this book is more similar to Tithe by Holly Black (which I also highly reccomend) but that may be just me.
Anyway, the pacing of this book is excellent. The writing...okay, that's average and I also admit the characters/plot isn't totally original. But considering it's a debut book it's really good and is very absorbing. Marr has crafted a great world here and with characters that you love and hate (in Keenens case, I sometimes loved and hated him at the same time). I also was a little surprised at the little twist in the end that sets up the book for its sequels.
So all in all a very satisfying book, some minor flaws but easily overlooked in the fact that it is seriously addicting. I now can't wait to pick up my own copy of this and the rest of the books in the series as well. Apparently book 4 is coming out in April/Mayish so I better get started on the others, huh? They're also apparently making a movie of this, to which I'm kind of happy about and kind of worried that they'll screw it up.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Twilight, fans of Tithe by Holly Black, faerie book readers, fantasy/romance lovers, anyone who thinks they'll like it.
MY RATING: four and a half out of five Summer Girls.

First in a Series Challenge on Royal Reviews Blog
12 by 12 Challenge by J-Kayes Blog
100+ Reading Challenge by J-Kayes Blog
Support Your Local Library Challenge by J-Kayes Blog

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

W W W Wednesday post

This is a weekly meme run by MizB at the Should be Reading blog:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.
Surprisingly I'm kind of loving it. I say surprisingly because of all the comparisons to Twilight I've heard and frankly, I did not like Twilight. But this...this book I'm getting into. I also think it's more like Tithe by Holly Black then Twilight but that may be just me. I'm also reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on my Kindle as part of my quest to read the classics I've been meaning to read this year.
Recently Finished Reading: Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling. Review post is on this blog.
What I'll be reading next: Blue Heaven by C. J. Box and Unicorn Chronicles two: Song of the Wanderer by Bruce Coville.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Book I'm currently reading: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (which is kind of awesome so far).

Donia laughed, coldly, sounding every bit Beira's creature in that moment. "Where were you when I needed that advice? I've already gone out with the biggest mistake a girl can make."
Page 98

Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: Dream Girl

TITLE: Dream Girl
AUTHOR: Lauren Mechling
GENRE: young adult, mystery, paranormal, chick-lit like
PREMISE: Claire Voyante gets visions, super unhelpful visions that don't make sense. Then her wacky grandmother gives her a pendant on her birthday that is supposed to help her gift. Which is good because she has a new friend who needs her help.
MY REVIEW: On one hand, I did sort of enjoy this book. Claire was an enjoyable character and I enjoyed reading about the colorful characters in her life (and the fun fashions). On the other hand...the book was rather predictable, the ending a little lackluster, and not many questions were answered such as why do Claire and her grandmother have the visions in the first place?
That doesn't mean the book is horrible. It does make for a great light read and if you need a pick me up book. It is also enjoyable enough that I do plan on checking out the second book that recently came out. So if you want a fun read, by all means, pick this book up. But if you want something with more to it...probably not for you. I'm hoping the second book will answer some of the questions I had from the first book (and that Claire will actually get a romance this time around).
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Meg Cabot (the writing style is very similar to hers), you want a light fun read, chick-lit fans
RATING: Three and a half out of 5 Chanel dresses

For the following challenges:
Support Your Local Library by J-Kaye Blog
100+ Reading Challenge by J-Kaye Blog