Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Children of Gods: Take Three

The Titan’s Curse

Written by: Rick Riordan

Released: May 1, 2007 by Hyperion Books

Summary: When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it’s up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened.
Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess?
They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared-a monster rumoured to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

What can I say about this third instalment of the Olympian’s series? Of course, I loved it; it was full of adventure with a touch of humour. But, the second one is still my favourite. Still, like the prior two, I couldn’t put it down once I started to read it and I probably stayed up too late reading it, but it was worth it.

I liked the introduction of a few new characters even though they were short lived in so many ways. This book also seemed to build a really nice base for what’s going to come with the next, and final, two books; sadly two books which I think I’ll be wait-listed at the library for since they’re in such high demand. I really just wish that I had them already so that I could read them and know what happens at the end. I am not a patient person when I know that I don’t have to wait for the book to be released.

The plot in this book was more in-depth and complicated than that of the second book, but I do believe that that is because it’s leading up to the climax of the final book and the culmination of the series.

I was saddened that Annabeth was shot out of the book so soon – she’s probably my favourite character – and because of that you didn’t get the repartee from her and Percy throughout. It was nice, though, to be fully introduced to her father and step-mother since they have only been mentioned in passing in the other two books. I strangely missed Tyson, too, as a main character in this book.

As for the other characters, I’m having a hard time liking Thalia, and I really didn’t like Zoe and her snootiness though she tied well into the story arc as a whole.

I really liked the idea of Artemis’ Hunters and how they weren’t just demi-gods. Their appearance was sudden and so completely unexpected that I was thrown a bit, but that was a good thing.

In the end, I just really want to find out what happens to everyone, especially Nico (a new character). So, I’m giving this book a 7/10 and I am greatly anticipating the final books.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Children of Gods: Take Two

The Sea of Monsters

Written by: Rick Riordan

Released: April 15, 2006 by Hyperion Books

Summary: After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson-a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any “normal” friends.
But things don’t stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters.
To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia-only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name; the Bermuda Triangle. Now Percy and his friends-Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson-must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed.
But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family-one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honour or simply a cruel joke.

You know, I think that I enjoyed this book better than the first though I’m not sure why. Maybe because there was less drama introduced, or that there were only a few new characters; whatever the reason, I really enjoyed this second book in the series.

The plot was definitely more basic – save the camp, save Grover, find the Golden Fleece – but I think that the simplicity and the cut down on new settings was what made it that much better than the first. This novel made me laugh out loud a few times too, much to the annoyance of my cat. Still, there were the moments where it evoked sadness, anger, surprise, astonishment, and other emotions.

I really enjoyed, again, how Greek myths were incorporated. It seemed as though a lot in this book was taken from the Odysseus story – the island of Circe where men are turned into (guinea)pigs, the Cyclops island where the inhabitant has a grudge against ‘Nobody’, the Sirens – and it was nice to read and remember back to when we studied the Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in English.

Percy and Annabeth grew as characters during this story, which was a nice reflection on just how they’re actually growing up. Their chemistry together as a literary pair who are able to work together which fighting most of the time is something nice to read too; it’s humorous and leaves you wondering if there’s a future there. Maybe that’s just my inner romantic though.

I’m giving that book a 7/10 or maybe a 6.5/10… I can’t decide. Either way, I liked it better than the first and I can’t wait to read the next one, which is at the top of my reading pile.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Movie Monday - High School Multiples


First Released: March 31, 1989

Written by: Daniel Waters

Directed by: Michael Lehman

Rating: R

Summary: Veronica mingles with Heather I, II and III to be as popular as them, even though she hates them. She hates them enough to wish they were dead, but she would never want to be their cause of death though. When she starts dating Jason Dean, however, she finds herself involved in the murdering of most of her enemies, covered up as suicides.

In trying to decide on a movie to review, I thought that I would go with a favourite. Of course, narrowing down a favourite is something too hard to do, so I went with one that’s a little obscure.

What can I say about this movie? Well, it’s a black comedy – decidedly morbid yet funny – and it’s somewhat of a cult classic with a great score on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a movie that an old roommate of mine introduced me to in university and I was hooked from the first time that I saw it. Then again, Christian Slater is in it and he was quite good looking when he was younger, so that might be a little biased.

Still, this is a movie that has something to appeal to just about everyone of a certain age: Read – no youngsters need apply. It has a great ensemble cast, including a young Shannen Doherty, with Winona Ryder and a few other semi-big ‘80s teen movie stars. It also has some amazing one-liners that have you laughing for ages after.

The plot is simple; we all want to kill our friends at times (metaphorically), but what happens if that exact thing accidentally happens? It also deals with the rise and fall of high school popularity, the ‘mean girl syndrome’, and first romances.

Still, for its simplicity and dark humour, I love this movie and watch it periodically. For that, I’m giving it a 9/10 and I honestly think that people should see it at least once in their life. If anything, it’ll make you laugh.

Summary taken from the International Movie Database.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A.I. vs. Humans: Take One


Written by: Robin Wasserman

Released: September 9, 2008 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Summary: Lia Kahn was perfect: rich, beautiful, popular -- until the accident that nearly killed her. Now she has been downloaded into a new body that only looks human. Lia will never feel pain again, she will never age, and she can’t ever truly die. But she is also rejected by her friends, betrayed by her boyfriend, and alienated from her old life.
Forced to the fringes of society, Lia joins others like her. But they are looked at as freaks. They are hated...and feared. They are everything but human, and according to most people, this is the ultimate crime -- for which they must pay the ultimate price.

Admittedly, this book had me intrigued from the moment I saw the cover, read the tag line, and skimmed the summary. What I came to the conclusion of was that I thought that this was a very interesting topic for a book. I mean, artificial intelligence that encapsulates a human being and in every way is that person; memories being transferred and the possibility for a custom-made body. It’s like the fountain of youth breeding with a computer and this is what you get.

I thought that with this specific format, that a lot of today’s worldly issues were reflected and discussed. The separating line that divides real people from machines with a real person’s brain inside it can be transferred to so many political debates. The division of the rich and the poor, suburban areas from the cities, the haves from the have-nots; it’s all relevant to today even though this is supposed to be the near future.

The characters in this book are likeable enough but I couldn’t bring myself to like Lia all that much. I spent the majority of the book yelling at her to grow up, accept life, and move on to something better. I can’t believe that it took her almost the entire book to let go. Of course, I can imagine that it would be hard to do since her suddenly being forced into a mechanical body wasn’t her idea and the stigma that comes with it is something that she’s never had to deal with, but still. Lia’s ability to adapt must have died with her natural body and, like her new one, it was something that she had to teach herself to do.

Mostly I felt bad for the character Auden and his supreme normalness to today’s standards which left him in the past with those in the book. And, of course, the ending, but I’m not going to ruin that.

Plot-wise, I thought that this book was a little lacking. I just felt as though more could have been addressed. Still, for the first in a trilogy, I suppose that some things needed to be saved for the next two books.

Overall I’m giving this book a 6/10. While I did enjoy reading it, I still feel as though it could have pushed the limit just a little bit more than it did, especially for the first in a trilogy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Glad Book


Written by: Eleanor H. Porter

Released: 1913 by Barbour Publishing, Incorporated

Summary: Soon after the eleven-year-old Pollyanna Whittier is left an orphan, she is sent to live with her rich Aunt Polly in Beldingsville, Vermont. Pollyanna’s aunt is a strict and dutiful woman she doesn’t even know. Aunt Polly puts Pollyanna in a tiny attic room where she hopes Pollyanna will be out of the way. But Pollyanna is the kind of girl who can always find something to be happy about, no matter how sad life may seem at the time. She calls it "playing the glad game." Soon everyone around this remarkable girl, from John Pendleton, a rich but lonely bachelor, to Aunt Polly herself, falls under her special spell.
Until only day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn’t know how to feel glad anymore

Ok, I have to admit that I didn’t really like this book. It’s been one that I’ve had on my bookshelf for a while and I never got around to reading it because better things came up to read. However, being a huge fan of the Disney movie from when I was younger, I had bought the book a while ago at a used book store for a few dollars and I finally decided that enough was enough; I was going to read this book.

Let’s start by saying that I like the movie better. MUCH better. The movie seemed to tie up so many semi-loose ends that the book has and it develops the characters so much more – which is odd considering that the book is almost always the superior of the two. I mean, Jimmy Bean (I laugh at the alcohol reference and wonder which came first) is barely mentioned within the book and doesn’t play as large a role as I thought he would. Nancy, too, is more developed in the movie and the entire staff is personified better.

I think that what really bugs me about the book is the language. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not a foul word to be found, but the way that the characters talk – a ploy to make them seem “more their station” I’m guessing – I hated reading it. While I realize that not everyone has perfect diction, and sometimes within books said diction is altered to reflect a specific character’s lot in life, it seemed as though half the time that I was reading the book I was trying to figure out what was really trying to be said.

The ending of this book seemed to be a cop-out with the last chapter being a letter from Pollyanna which tells the reader what has happened in the 10 months that have passed both to her and those who she’s close to but aren’t there. I’m all for tying up loose ends, but this didn’t seem to be done just right; hence the cop-out. It was as if the author was at her quote for pages and so she slapped together the last two pages to appease her readers. Really, an entire sequel could have been written about the events which are mentioned in the last chapter. I think that would have been a lot better. Also, the last few chapters had the introduction of several new characters which had no consequence really to the book. While I understand why they might have been thought to be needed, they came at such a surprise that I was left wondering for a few minutes whether I missed a chapter or something. I thought that it was incredibly odd and off-putting.

Something that I did like that the book had was the relationship between Pollyanna’s mother (from before she married Pollyanna’s father) and one of the male characters; to tell which one would be to give away a bit of the mystery within the book. It was nice that they included Pollyanna’s mother more than they did in the movie. I thought that it was a nice touch and it gave more of a view into the life of Miss. Polly from before her niece came to stay with her and from when she was a young girl.

The ‘glad game’ was something that was a nice thing to have throughout the book as well. It made for introducing minor characters an easier task and it was a specific topic that could be reflected back on at any given time when there needed to be filler. Or when something needed to change, or needed to be explained better. In a way, it was like a security blanket to fall back on when things got choppy, but it was still nice at the same time.

At the end of it all, I give this book a 3/10. Really, the movie was better. Wow, I never thought that I would ever write that about a book…

Friday, March 26, 2010

Merman’s Village - FP Friday

FictionPress Friday

So I’ve been a reader on FictionPress for years and I have come across so many amazing stories on there that I decided that I wanted to share them too. I think that if someone is going to put that much time and effort into writing something brilliant, then they deserve some credit.

Another blogger – if you can call her that… is it considered a blog? I think I need a better description – who reviews online romance fiction is the mysterious Juliet from A Drop of Romeo. I have to say that she has some amazing tastes when it comes to online fiction and I have often looked at her website to find something new to read when I don’t want to go to the library or spend money on a book. After all, the internet is an amazing thing so why not take advantage of it?

And so begins the first of my FictionPress Fridays. No, I’m not going to necessarily stick to FP all the time, but it is the main website (that I know of) where I can easily search for something to read depending on what I’m in the mood to read.

Now, I must state that the majority of the stories that I will be reviewing will be rated M for whatever reason. I will review those which are rated T but for some reason I just feel that the higher the rating, and the larger the word count, the more articulate and interesting a story will be. I know, I know, basically I’m not allowing any of the lower ratings a chance, but it’s just how I feel. That being said, feel free to refer me to something that you think I may have overlooked; I’m more than game to be told about some amazing pieces of fiction.

Anyways, on to today’s review.

Legends of the Deep

Written by: Edward’s girl 90

Rated: M

Published: July 12, 2009 – November 20, 2009

Summary: Luka decided my fate for me when I was 12 years old. I was to become a mermaid on the day I turn 18 so I can spend the rest of my immortal existence with him. There was no fighting it until Joseph Atkins discovered a way to free me. But is that what I want?

Now, I’m a sucker for mermaid stories. I loved the Little Mermaid when I was growing up and I like reading adaptations of it even now, or even stories that just have mermaids. So of course I was excited to find this story online.

I really enjoyed reading it. The take on mermaids was an original one and the way that it was written made you think that something like this was completely possible since it’s as it it’s hiding in plain sight.

The characters were fun and there were a few twists that I wasn’t expecting, which was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the mermaid lore that the author either invented or researched to include in her story.

Overall, I’m giving this story a 6/10. I think that this is something that, with a little work, it could be amazing and possibly be published (at least I think so). As it is, it’s a really enjoyable read and I have read it a few times. I just wish that the sequel was finished as well since it shows promise.

Image taken from here and was altered by me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Week of Fridays - Debut Author

Before I Fall

Written by: Lauren Oliver

Released: March 2, 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers

Summary: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High-from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Ok, one thing that really irritated me to the point of wanting to scream about this book was the fact that characters were driving around drunk and were justifying it because the driver “never gets drunk while drinking”. I’m sorry, but that’s total BS and I am completely against it. I mean, it’s only in the later chapters that the main character Sam wises up slightly and either is DD or doesn’t drive with her drunken friends. But still, I realize that it does happen, but the stupidity never ceases to astound me into absolute disgust.

That aside, this book was something else entirely. I mean, it’s not a new idea for someone to re-live the same day ever and over again – the day re-setting itself whenever they fall asleep or die. Francine Pascal did it in one of her Sweet Valley Twins books (yes, I own almost all of them from my pre-teen days) and the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray is quite a popular movie. I mean, they even showed it in one of my high school religion classes…

The characters were, at least I thought, a pretty good portrayal of how high school kids have become; it’s all sex, booze, and the almighty popularity bid. I really liked how Sam evolved and how she went through the stages of grief as she learned more about herself and the people around her, even her best friends who she thought she knew everything about.

Still, it’s the ending that really sets this book aside from the rest and it sucks that I can’t elaborate further without giving it completely away. So I’ll just say this; while I liked how it ended – an ending like that takes guts to write – I’m so disappointed as well because now I have all these questions about what happened after. I guess it’s like the ending of The Stone Angel where the last words are “And then…” or something like that. I just remember that it was annoying. Basically, this ending made me sad in both the good and bad ways.

Ending and drunk driving aside, I give this book an overall 8/10. It really did live up to the reviews that I have read on other book blogs and I’m glad that I bought it. I also think that this was an amazing first book from this author and I can’t wait to see what else she comes out with in the future.

****On a side note: Chapters (for people in Canada) is having a 20% off sale on their Children and Teen books. It’s plus another 10% if you have their iRewards card. I almost cried I was so happy when I saw that on Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Life’s Compass

North of Beautiful

Written by: Justina Chen Headley

Released: February 1, 2009 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary: As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, but you were the one who wanted this, remember? You’re the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It’s hard not to notice Terra Cooper.

She’s tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob’s path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?

First of all, this book was full of overly large words and many map references. In fact, the entire book is full of all things maps. Funnily enough, this didn’t detract from the book as a whole. The way that the maps were worked into the story was done flawlessly – at least I thought so – and though it was a little daunting at times, it was nice to learn things that I never even thought about.

The story itself was fairly simple with several more complex nuances. I mean, story about a girl who is almost perfect except for one flaw, who has to deal with things (i.e. family members) working against her. She falls in love only to not want to leave the safe niche that she’s made for herself. Basic, yes, but the way that it was done was different.

Never before have I ever read about a character who had to deal with a Port Wine Birthmark that takes up half of her face. The snowball effect that comes from it: the bullying, the snide comments from her father, the feeling that she can’t do any better than her good boyfriend, the constant interference from others to have her face “fixed”, the compensation of being perfect body-wise otherwise – it was realistic. People are inherently mean and that was shown rather well with this. This fact was also elaborated through the use of other characters and their own personal physical flaws, like Jacob.

I thought that this book had a good message; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that the way that it reflected that onto the art that the main character created just enunciated it even more. It also had the message that you shouldn’t stick with something just because you’re scared of what will happen if you lose it.

I liked this book for the most part but I did think that it dragged on every now and then. It was a nice read but I don’t think that I would read it again. Overall, I give it a 5/10.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

East Meets West

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Written by: Jessica Day George

Released: 2008 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Summary: Blessed--or cursed--with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an "isbjorn" (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a gruelling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

This novel was one of the sweetest retellings of the Nordic fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon that I have read in a while. I love fairy tales and any modernization, re-telling, or new interpretation of then and I really enjoyed reading this story.

The characters were endearing and I enjoyed how other mythical beings like fauns, selkies and gargoyles were incorporated into the story to give it a little more fantasy. Knowing how things were going to play out – this is one of my favourite fairy tales – didn’t take away from anything that I read since there were a few other elements than the regular original fairy tale (just like all retellings should be like). I also enjoyed the insight into “the Lass’” life; how it added to the story and the ways that it also was incorporated into what was going on.

I’m really not sure what else I can say about this novel. I mean, it wasn’t something that you’re going to always be thinking about because it changed your life, but it’s something that you’ll re-read after the details start to fail or just because you enjoyed it so much the first, third, or twenty-third time reading it.

It’s a beautiful rendition of an old fable and it flows so smoothly that you’re not left wondering what the heck just happened – except almost at the end of the book when she’s riding the horses… She starts off with three and suddenly there’s only one left with no acknowledgement that she had sent the other two back home. But that’s the only thing.

I give this novel a 7/10 for it’s charming take on the original and I can’t wait to read it again at a later date.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Monday - Adventures in Underland

Alice in Wonderland

Released: March 5, 2010

Written by: Linda Woolverton based on the novel by Lewis Carroll

Directed by: Tim Burton

Well, I went to see this movie in 3D – my first 3D movie ever – and boy was that a waste of money. Maybe it’s just my eyes but there were so many parts where things were completely blurry or out of focus that shouldn’t have been. I think that I would have had a much better time if I had just gone for the regular format and saved a few dollars. I did get those cool glasses though…

Anyways, that aside, I really did enjoy this interpretation of the book. I liked how it was made so that Alice was older and had forgotten Wonderland except in her nightmares. It was interesting to see her as a haunted young lady who makes her way back to Wonderland – which is really Underland – and is able to discover her true self and find out how to live her own life. It was a great mixing of concepts from both the original Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking Glass. How they made the Red Queen more like the Queen of hearts was amazing and the script was able to maintain the key characters (like the Tweedles, the Cheshire Cat, the Jabberwocky, the White Rabbit), while cutting those who really didn’t need to be there (Bill the Lizard, the Mock Turtle, Dinah, the Kings). Also, how they incorporated both the decks of cards from the first book and the chess pieces from the second was genious.

Tim Burton also brought a lot to it. I think that he was able to truly capture the essence of Wonderland and transmit that to the screen. His well-known looks for his films was wonderful, though I think that it could have been a little more.

Something that I didn’t like about this film was the constant Mad Hatter story arcs. While I can see that his character was ideal for the role that he played towards Alice, the amount of time that Johnny Depp spent on-screen was just a bit too much. At times it seemed as though it were a little more about him than Alice, which takes away from the entire point of Alice being there.

The acting was superb, though. I thought that the casting was a perfect fit and there wasn’t a downfall from having such a large star-studded cast like you get with some big budget movies with several Hollywood icons. The cast seemed to be able to work together and flow well. Anne Hathaway was ideal as the White Queen though I did find her characterization a little fluffy at times. And of course, Helena Bonham Carter was phenomenal as usual playing the slightly psychotic Red Queen.

Finally, the make-up; oh god the make-up. It was phenomenal. The colours and the contouring and the elaborations of facial features were so cool to look at while the movie was going on. Also how they made Alice look more alive as the movie neared it end was a nice reflection on how she was changing as a person. It just added another layer to the movie as a whole to make it an artistic masterpiece.

In the end, though, I give this movie a 6/10. I think that had I of seen it in 2D that might be different, but on the whole it was a good interpretation with great visuals, but too much Johnny and too little 3D that worked for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Lion and the Unicorn

The Little White Horse

Written by: Elizabeth Goudge

Released: 1946 by University of London Press Ltd.

Summary: The beautiful valley of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. When Maria Merryweather comes to live at Moonacre Manor she finds herself involved with an ancient feud. She is determined to restore peace and happiness to the whole of Moonacre Valley, and Maria usually gets her own way!

Ok, this is horrible, but just like Howl’s Moving Castle I didn’t know this was a book until after I saw the movie. Maybe because it’s an older classic book, I don’t know, but I never came across it while I was younger. I am so happy, though, that I did watch the movie and finally realize that there was a book that said movie was based on.

Let me tell you, thought, that the movie and the book are WAY different and I’m not sure which one I like better since I like them for different reasons. Of course, the main parts are the same but it’s the ways that the end is finally reached in both that differ so. Thinking about it, and this is going to sound horrible, but I think that I may just like the film a little more but for a rather unrelated reason. See, the book deals a lot with religion; a lot of it takes place at the church or the old monastery, and there are so many virtues and vices that are discussed it got rather much at times. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t take away from the story, but I think that because I am such a non-religious person (years in Catholic school cured me of wanting to be a part of organized religion) it didn’t appeal to me because of that.

All that being said, the shift from mid twentieth century writing to modern day script was done really well and though there were many changes, it was enjoyable. I just wish that I had read the book first since a few things were ruined when reading the book. Like the dog Wrolf. Some things were completely different too, which made for a nice surprise while reading; like how the pearls were found and who Loveday and Robin really were.

But, back to the book. The character of Maria Merryweather was rather vapid. I mean, she was a fine character but she always did the right thing… I guess that files in with the whole religion thing too. It’s not that she rubbed me the wrong way or anything, as some characters tend to do, but I guess considering that books today are more raw and real it just made reading this seem like… well, I’m not even sure how to describe it. Tame, maybe? Still, that aside, I liked the story. The idea of the Moon Princess and finding the unicorn and uniting two branches of the same family tree were all really nice to read.
Maybe that was the main problem with the book; it was too nice.

In the end, the movie had more oomph to it. It was more ‘life and death’ than ‘pleasing God’. Sure, both were extremely nice in their own ways, but I can’t help but feel like I’m disappointing people everywhere for liking the movie better. So, all taken into consideration, I give this book 6/10.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Choose This

The Chosen One

Written by: Carol Lynch Williams

Released: May 12, 2009 by St. Martin’s Press

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don''t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

This book is the exact reason that I hate organized religion. I honestly don’t think that I have ever read something so poignant concerning faith and an entire system of beliefs that has left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. Sure, the referral back to God throughout a book can be tolerated, but this novel was in a league entirely of its own.

And I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t put it down and kept reading it much longer than I should have until I finished it; thankfully it’s a short novel at only 213 pages. It’s so heart-wrenching, sickening, disgusting, and absolutely chaotic that I don’t think I’ll ever forget about what’s contained within the pages.

I mean, I know that things like this happen – polygamous communities where things are more than questionable – but reading about it in a novel like this just made my heart wrench in two because I could feel it happening.

The way that it’s written, the way that the scenes are described and the details that are shared about the characters, make the entire story flow so easily that you can picture yourself from that perspective and looking out into the word. You’re able to see the obvious love that is there but that is blanketed and almost destroyed from the corruption that is enabled to run rampant. I honestly don’t think that I have ever felt so sorry for a character ever in my entire life than I felt for Kyra.

Kyra herself is this amazing character too. She’s so brave and independent: loving, courageous, intelligent, strong, and just plain amazing. She jumps right off the page and into your very being. You are able to feel what she feels and see how she thinks. She is truly a realistic character that you can’t help but want to know.

The ending is bitter sweet and I wish that it had continued just a little longer to see how things truly turned out later on for Kyra but at the same time it ended at such a place that you’re crying tears of both joy and sorrow.

I give this novel a 10/10. It is by far one of the most raw, emotional, and in-depth books that I have read for a while and though the subject matter makes me want to heave, I am so happy that I read it. It was a beautiful narrative even through everything that happened and it’s as if it is a story that needs to be told. I am so glad that I grabbed this book off the shelf in the library.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Not Your Detective Couple

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Written by: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Released: May 23, 2006 by Random House Children’s Books

Summary: It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who's just walked in to his band's show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City-and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.
This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be-and where the next great band is playing.
Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humour, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you'll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

One of those books that I knew about the movie first (it was a pretty good movie but the book is much better) and then refused to buy the movie-cover version that they peddled around that time, I’ve only just gotten around to finding this book at the library (a completely pleasant surprise) and I read it in only a few hours this evening. I have to say that this was an amazing book; hence the speed-read and automatic review.

I’m not going to say that this book changed my life, but it was incredibly insightful with the two opposing view-points alternating from chapter to chapter between Nick and Norah over the span of one night in Manhattan. You see the goings-on from both Nick and Norah, which allows you into the inner psyche of how differently guys and girls can take a situation. This allows the other characters within the novel to be seen differently as well, which adds depth to them.

I also have to admit that I rather enjoyed the language and the play on pop culture. While the music references sometimes went over my head, I got the movie ones and most of the rest. I also liked the realness of the language used by all the characters. Ok, sometimes it was a little obvious that an adult was trying to write how a teenager would speak, but the under current that was there – the swearing, the sexual referenced – just encompassed how the vast majority of people talk now. I also liked how sexuality was incorporated with several of the characters being gay and the actual exploration of the sexuality of Nick and Norah. It was refreshing to see a “young adult” novel that was like that. The fact that it was present just made it more believable. I mean, sex is an every day occurrence and this generation of people are more exploratory than those who preceded them. After all, no real 18-year-old doesn’t know what it is and most of them are doing it.

One thing that I don’t like about this book are the names. Nick and Norah strung together will always be, for me at least, Nick and Norah Charles; characters from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man book and following mystery movie franchise of the 1930s and ‘40s.

Overall I’m going to give this book an 8/10. It was fun and real and just seemed to be able to capture perfectly how you can change in just a few hours.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Children of Gods

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Written by: Rick Riordan

Released: July 28, 2005 by Miramax Books

Summary: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse. Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. Percy’s mom decides its time that he knew the truth about where he came from. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends; one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena, Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I have to say that I was a little sceptical about this book but I figured that, if they made a movie about it which had a relatively interesting movie trailer, then the book might be alright. So, I was pleased when it was just that and a little more.

Sure, the book may be a little too young for me, but I thought that the story was fresh; after all, who wouldn’t want to be the love child of a Mount Olympian god or goddess? And I liked how it was a Herculean adventure story since it seems as though there are so few of those written in recent years – at least to my knowledge. Percy was an entertaining protagonist who was able to perform his tasks at hand rather well for someone who seemingly has lost a lot. Of course, this detail is debated at the end since apparently he hasn’t lost all that much… or so you begin to think.

Something that I really liked about the book was how well it was able to incorporate ancient Greek mythology figures into modern day America. I also enjoyed how they explained the similar Roman gods and goddesses and how Mount Olympus was able to move as ideologies changed and populations migrated. It was a nice spin on ancient history. The idea for the summer camp was also quite ingenious as a way to tie everything together as a starting point.

Admittedly, I am curious to see the movie, especially since I now want to see how the two hold up to each other. I also want to read the other books in the series, though I think I’m going to see about getting them from the library instead of buying them. I’ve heard good things, though, from some kids who have been customers at the store where I work (they were buying one of the books in the series and I asked them what they thought about the other ones that they had read).
I give this book a 6/10 though I do believe that in the future I will pass it on to younger family members and share it with them; they would probably enjoy

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shifters the 5th


Written by: Rachel Vincent

Released: March 1, 2010 by Mira Books

Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.
As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.
With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option...

While it’s too bad that I haven’t reviewed the other four books in the series before this one, let me just say that I’ve been hooked from the beginning and the fifth book in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series does not disappoint.

Beginning with the introduction of a new type of shifter race – the thunderbirds – the action doesn’t stop until the last few pages of the last chapter. Tie in the love-triangle that is Faythe, Marc and Jace and I couldn’t put the book down until I finished reading it. Ok, I had to stop reading to sleep but I still read it in 24 hours.

What can I say about this book, and consequentially the series? It’s amazing. In a world that has become overrun with sparkling vampires and werewolves, it’s nice to read about werecats and their pride systems. Plus, reading about Marc and Faythe never disappoints on the hot or interesting meters. I also think that this has been the best books yet to come out from the series, but the final instalment is due out in October so we’ll have to see how that one adds up.

I have to say that it’s nice to read a semi-romance that’s action-packed and found in the fantasy section at Chapters. The book doesn’t go light on describing the gory details of a forearm being torn to shreds or someone getting their face sliced open. It’s nice to see a ‘girly romance’ book that doesn’t back down. Another aspect about it is that, though there are more than enough characters mentioned throughout the books, there never seems to be a real over indulgence in them. Each one is referred back to being related to a main character or they’re re-described using exact examples from other books just in case it’s been a while since you’ve read the last one. The way that that is done ensures that you’re not always scratching your head in wonder over who this new character is who just popped into a chapter or two. The surplus of characters also seems to allow for untold possibilities within a plot line, which means that everything isn’t visible chapters in advance. The reader is never sure exactly where the story is going to take them, which is nice while you’re reading it, since no one wants to know what’s going to happen way before it actually does. And on the few instances that the reader might think that they know what’s going to happen next, a large wrench is thrown into their hypothesis with something happening that changes the course of everything.

It’s always an invigorating, exciting, and captivating read when I’m immersed in this series. I give this book and all the others that came before a 9/10. I’m definitely going to have to re-read the entire five books just before I start the sixth and last.

Summary courtesy of Rachel Vincent's website.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The First Liked

The Last Song

Written by: Nicholas Sparks

Released: September 8, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing

Summary: Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them.

Ok, I have to admit that I don’t really like Nicholas Sparks or his writing. The Notebook made me gag and A Walk to Remember was disgustingly predictable. I also didn’t want to read this book at all at first since there was the movie cover (unfortunately the copy that I bought) with Miley Cyrus on the cover. Not only do I really detest movie covers but I’m not a big fan of hers either. That being said, I did really enjoy reading this book. Yes, it was predictable at parts… ok a whole lot of parts… but there were some good moments thrown in that took you a little by surprise.

I think that one reason that I maybe enjoyed this book was because the screenplay was written first and then the novel? I don’t know. Anyways, I liked it. It made me laugh, cry, and all those other good responses that you want from a novel. In fact, I was so engrossed in it that I just had to finish reading it last night… or rather early, early this morning. Probably not the best idea since I worked today, but whatever; I really just wanted to find out how it ended.

The characters in this novel are what you would expect from Sparks; jaded but good, and always doing the right thing in the end. Except, of course, the main antagonist, but every book needs one of them anyways and even he made you feel sort of sorry for him. Maybe pity is the better word, but either way there was more there.
I have to say that I was really able to relate and bond with the main character Ronnie Miller, whose part was scripted specifically with Miley Cyrus in mind, which was something that made reading the book all the more pleasurable since I was able to imagine myself in the same position for a lot of it. Also, by the end of the book I was wishing that I was able to find a guy like Will Blakelee, the main squeeze in the book, since he was portrayed as the epitome of perfection. Alas, I don’t think that people like him are real.

As I said above, the plot was expected but it was still nice to read. It was a real bildungsroman with a nice romance that was something that made you warm inside when you were reading it. At times you were mentally shouting at the characters for some reason or another; it seemed as though they were clueless half the time when the answer seemed to be so apparent. Still, movie cover aside, I’m glad that I bought it to read.

Overall I’m going to give it a 6/10. It was nice but the predictable nature of the plot lowered the score from what could have maybe been an 8/10.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie Monday - Fairy Tale Retellings

The 10th Kingdom

First Aired: Beginning February 27, 2000 for five nights

Written by: Simon Moore

Directed by: David Carson and Herbert Wise

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Two centuries after Snow White and Cinderella had their adventures, the Nine Kingdoms ready themselves for the coronation of Prince Wendel, Snow White's grandson, to the throne of the Fourth Kingdom. But an evil once-queen has freed herself from prison, and turns the prince into a golden retriever. Wendel, by means of a magic mirror, escapes into a hitherto-unknown Tenth Kingdom (modern day New York City) and meets Virginia and her father Tony. Pursued by trolls, cops, and a wolf in man's form, the three blunder back into the Nine Kingdoms and begin their adventures to restore Wendel to his human form and throne, and find the magic mirror that will take Tony and Virginia back home, all the while unknowing that Virginia already has a connection to the Nine Kingdoms that may prove deadly before we reach Happily Ever After.

This week is a week of firsts; this is the first of many Movie Mondays and later this week there will be a first on Friday as well. And so, in order to mark this momentous occasion, I have decided to choose a monumental movie to review.

Let me start off by saying this; my movie library is almost as vast as my paper one so I should never have a lack of movies to review. And I battled with myself over which movie I should choose. First, with the untimely and sudden death of Corey Haim I thought that I might review my all-time (one of them, anyways) favourite The Lost Boys. I have watched this movie so many times that I have lost count and I bought the sequel that came out a few years ago AND I cannot wait for the third instalment to come out soon.

But, instead, I decided to go with a more ‘story book’ movie and review The 10th Kingdom.

Ok, it’s not really a movie so much as a mini-series, but it’s so amazing that I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, I was watching it just last night before I fell asleep and even as I write this it’s playing in the background of my computer.

What can I say about this movie? Well, how about the fact that I love how it incorporates more fairy tales into its story than a person can count in one watching? It is truly amazing to see how little details from so many different old fairy tales and legends intertwine to make this amazing tapestry of a movie. I mean, you take the main love story that takes after Little Red Riding Hood (so weird to think about but it works SO well), then the Snow White aspect with Virginia Lewis, the Evil Queen and Prince Wendell. Those aspects intermingle with the King Midas-ness of Tony, Virginia’s Father, and the general fairy tale exploits of Trolls. Throw in magic mushrooms for Sleeping Beauty, the nasty monopoly of the Bo Peep family, gypsies and werewolves, and the many uses of Jack’s beanstalks, plus every other fairy tale that you can ever think of. Then there’s the Tooth Fairy as an eccentric dentist who thinks that tooth decay comes from poor diet, not brushing properly, and bad fairies. But it’s the way that they are all related back to each other and adapted to make you see a different view on stories that you thought you knew so well. The intermingling is done so well that you sometimes think that that may have been how it was originally, but I suppose that was just some phenomenal writing in the script.

The actors are so encompassing of their fairy tale characters that they make them pop all the more off the screen. Dianne Wiest is absolutely breathtaking as the vindictive Evil Queen antagonist and it’s such a change from her generally good-hearted characters that the change slaps you up-side the head and makes you realize just how talented she is. Come to think of it, she was in The Lost Boys too… Anyways, Kimberly Williams (According to Jim, Father of the Bride) plays the main protagonist Virginia beautifully with the fiery innocence that she brings to her character and John Larroquette as her greedy, though loving, father is an absolute wit.

The cast itself is star-studded all throughout with Ann-Margaret, Ed O’Neill, Scott Cohen, Warwick Davis, and Camryn Manheim who play anywhere to larger to small cameo roles within the movie.

I suppose that aside from the ingenious weaving of the plot and the character portrayals, the most amazing thing about the movie would be the make-up effects. Really, it’s award worthy it’s so amazing. They take normal actors and turn them into trolls, goblins, dwarves, and any other creature that you can think of. It just gives another layer to the already profound visuals and portrayals within the movie. No details seemed to be too small or too inconsequential to be forgotten.

There is so much more that I could say about this movie, but this review is getting to be a bit too long so I’m just going to leave it at this.

I give this movie a 10/10. It’s an amazing film that is funny, entertaining, mysterious, adventurous, suspenseful, and so many other things that I can’t even really put it all into words. It’s family friendly and appropriate for all ages.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Luxuries: Take One

The Luxe

Written by: Anna Godbersen

Released: May 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers,

From the Publisher: Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Holland’s resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

I have to say, that I greatly enjoyed reading this book. I can understand where other people might not have – the “historical” part of it is a little off from what it really would have been – but that didn’t bother me in the slightest. After all, this is meant to be a light read for me and not something that would change my entire life. When it comes down to it, the book is basically just Gossip Girl minus about 100 years. And I liked Gossip Girl when it first came out… I also watch the show whenever I can.

Something that really intrigued me, I guess what really enticed me into reading the book in the first place, was that it started with Elizabeth’s funeral and I really wanted to know then what happened. Books that start a little ahead and then play catch up are always a great lure for me.
The characters did, at times, leave you wanting more from them, but they filled in the classical stereotypes which they were meant to portray quite well. I liked how Elizabeth, the main protagonist, wasn’t as perfect as she outwardly appeared and how she battled with her inner desires to do what was right by her family. I liked how Diana, for all of her rebellion, just wanted to be really loved by someone for herself and not just for her name or who her sister was. I felt sadness for Will, wanting him to get his love, and I wanted to just shoot Penelope for being such an evil, snarky bitch. Yes, at times the characters were simplistic and one dimensional, but for a nice, easy, fun read I think that I can overlook that bit about it. Besides, I think that was the whole point to begin with, especially since this is just the first book in the series.

The plot itself was simplistic but with the writing style coming from the different view points of the many different characters, it made it so that it was elaborated and explored fully. The story wouldn’t have been the same if it had just been from Elizabeth’s perspective throughout the entire book. So many little details would have been lost and it wouldn’t have had the same effect in the end.

I give this book an 8/10 and I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Heart Eating Wizard and an Old Lady

Howl’s Moving Castle

Written by: Diana Wynne Jones

Released: January 4, 1986 by William Morrow & Company Incorporated

From the Publisher: Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared Wizard Howl. “An exciting, multifaceted puzzle, peopled with vibrant, captivating characters.”

Ok, I admit it; I didn’t even know that this was a book until shortly before Christmas last year. It all started because I was a fan of the Hayao Miyazaki anime movie and I had watched the movie, oh, hundreds of times, before I realized that it was based on a novel. Apparently I’m just not that observant… or I always jumped to where it actually starts…

Anyways, the book and the movie are completely different and in the end I am so happy that I watched the movie first and liked it before I read the book purely so that I could enjoy the movie as well. I think that, though this is a great interpretation of a novel, there is just so much that had been changed from novel to book that I know that if I had read the book first, I would have hated the movie.

I suppose it’s because there is just so much more in the book with the characters and the plot line; there were more characters that interacted with each other and made the plot more intricate and complicated. Of course, I know that, especially with an animated film, you can’t have everything from the book in the movie; Harry Potter is a prime example. For Howl, at just over 300 pages, you could never even try to fit everything into a two hour movie, especially when it’s a Miyazaki film with his renowned animation and gorgeous scenes.

But, back to the book. Having seen the movie first, I was familiar with where it was going but I was pleasantly surprised at what else was in there leading up to it. There was more magic, confusion, laughter, and romance than I had anticipated and that made for some amazing reading where I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen next. Of course, I knew that all would end well and all spells, at least the ones in the movie, would be resolved, but I didn’t know for sure anymore how that would be accomplished.

I thought that the characters were fun and involved though a little one dimensional at times. Howl is a romancer who breaks, not eats, people’s hearts; Sophie is funny as a little old woman who wants to please people almost to a fault; and Calcifer… well he might just be the most dynamic character all throughout the book. He was definitely my favourite in both the book and movie, though I have to admit that Billy Crystal brought a lot to the character and I liked how the movie Calcifer looked better than the book one… Weird, I know.

The plot in the book was intriguing and it kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. There was always a lot of action and mystery; it was like trying to solve a puzzle without all the pieces there at once. Even up until the last chapter there were bits of the mystery that weren’t quite complete and there was plenty of action that had yet to be resolved.

In the end, this is a book that I will definitely read again at a later date. I also purchased the other two books in the Howl series – Castle in the Sky and House of Many Ways – and read them as well but they didn’t quite hold up to the original… I think that may be just because I was such a fan of Howl before I read it and in the other two books Howl and Sophie aren’t as front and centre. I really grew attached to those two characters as I was both watching the film and reading the book. The ending of the film, though, does give a nice introduction into the next book with the castle flying off into the horizon.

I give this book a 9/10.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Soul Screamer: Take One

My Soul to Take

Written by: Rachel Vincent

Released: August 1, 2009 by Harlequin Publishers

From the Publisher:
She doesn't see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…

From the moment that I saw this novel on The Story Siren (an amazing YA novel blog) I wanted to read it myself. Both the cover, which is gorgeous, and the summary intrigued me and when I saw a chance to buy it I did, along with the second in the series 'My Soul to Save'.

I thought that this was an original idea - vampires and werewolves are so overdone - and since I was already a Rachel Vincent fan from her adult supernatural series I went into reading this with an idea that it wouldn't disappoint. And boy did it not. The summary doesn't give anything away and I was pleasantly surprised at what the supernatural tie-in was for this. I mean, banshees are never written about and the way that the author writes about them is rather amazing and insightfully fresh. How other supernatural beings are incorporated and used as they mingle with the main characters is done also in a way that feels natural and it adds to the entire story rather than taking away and feeling awkwardly placed.

I was pleased that there were portions of the plot that took you off-guard and made you re-read the page to make sure that you got it right the first time. The ending of the book is both open-ended for the books to follow while tying up nicely the plot line of this specific novel, and the climax is so unexpected that never could it have been specifically guessed before it happened. At least I never made the connection.

Of course, there were parts which were obvious in the way that they were going to play out.
The whole "borrowed time" and the reaper bits you knew were going to relate back to the characters personally though you weren't quite sure what the angle was going to be. Of course, the entire novel can't be thrilling and unexpected; there has to be something that you can anticipate or else it's just not nearly as fun to read. Thrills are great but after a while, if there are too many of them one after another, they get to be tiring and expected - something that you don't want.

All in all, I am greatly anticipating reading the next novel and then the third one when it comes out June 1, 2010, especially if they can live up to the first in the series. I give this novel my stamp of approval and an 8/10 on my reading scale.

Summary courtesy of the Chapters website.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome Fellow Bookworms!

A new blog for all my bookworm tendencies and my ever expanding library. More than likely, too, there will be a few online fiction reviews and perhaps a handful of movie critiques sprinkled throughout too. After all, everything is encompassed by a good plot and believable characters.