Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Review #870
The Fall Of Candy Corn by Debbie Viguie
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is a nice book that had a good message and an interesting, it not somewhat predictable set of characters. I enjoyed seeing how the story progressed, but some of the circumstances were just a tad bit too sugar-coated for my liking. I enjoyed this book, but I would still categorize it as a fluff book. I'd probably recommend.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Book Review #869
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Rating: three stars (out of four)

When I heard that this book won the Newbery Medal I immediately put it on hold at the library. I was so excited to read this. When I read the inside flap I was incredibly intrigued and decided that I would carve out a time to read this book in one sitting. The first couple of chapters were great, I didn't know what was going to happen next but I was hooked. I liked the characters, they felt real and I wanted to get to know them better. Somewhere near the middle of the book, I started to catch onto what was going on. I tried really hard not to read so fast that I would miss nuances in paragraphs because I was breezing through in order to get to the ending.

There were so many sentences that I loved. This book is full of great things to quote. I was so involved in this book I was talking out loud to myself: "Oh no! That's HIM! I just figured out what's going on!" and then a couple of pages later: "NO! I was wrong before, it's not him! It's going a completely different way!" The ending was different then I had expected, I figured out most of the details along the way, but there were some loose ends that were explained. I had to sit and think about the book after I had finished it. My mind was still processing it and all I could think about were all the strange things that had happened. I really enjoyed this book, but there was a part of the story that I felt was too simplistic and I wanted more. I would still whole-heartedly recommend though. It was a good read.

Book Review #868
Mr. Emerson's Cook by Judy Schachner
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a delightful book. I loved how Judy Schachner wove in poetic elements of Emerson and incorporated homecooking into such a lovely story. This is based partly on fact, and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The ending left me with a smile on my face. I would recommend.

Book Review #867
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a cute little book. I liked the interaction between the two unseen characters and their debate over whether this was a duck or a rabbit. It had clever illustrations and I think children would definitely find this book enjoyable. I would probably recommend.

Book Review #866
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Elicia Castaldi
Rating: one star (out of four)

I wasn't impressed with this book. I picked it up because the title was interesting and I had already read a couple other books by the author. I just didn't think this story flowed very well and sometimes it was confusing. Even though I felt like the format this book was written in was unique and original I had a hard time getting into the story. I didn't care for the main character and at the end I felt like it was a let down. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Review #865
Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I've read Northanger Abbey before, but not for several years and I had forgotten most of the plot. One of the reasons I really enjoyed this novel was because of the way Austen wrote it. She is so good at creating characters who get under your skin and make you think. She also creates other people who are so despicable you want to shove them off a cliff, but can't because you are too curious to see what they are going to do next. I also loved her snarky comments throughout the novel, they made me laugh out loud. I viewed this book in a whole different perspective when we discussed the story and characters in class. I saw how Austen was cleverly making fun of other novels of the time. I would totally recommend anything Jane Austen has written.

Book Review #864
Calamity Jack by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a delightful read! I thoroughly enjoyed how the authors carefully wove a plot with well-known characters and twisted them to create a unique story. I also loved how they poked fun at old fairy tales. The illustrations were fun and suited the book perfectly. I really liked the interaction between the characters and watching Jack grow up was another bonus. I liked having Jack take the center stage for this story after it revolving around Rapunzel for the last book. I would recommend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Review #863
Love, Loss, And What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman
Rating: one star (out of four)

I read this book because I was in a memoir writing class last semester and this was one of the books my professor recommended. Sadly, I didn't find this book very entertaining. It was interesting seeing the different eras of dresses and clothes, but I felt like the drawings were a little lopsided and childish - I wanted a more professional feel. I also felt like the author didn't tell as much of a story as I would have liked, I wanted more details and more memories. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Book Review #862
The Actor And The Housewife by Shannon Hale
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book just didn't work for me. I thought it was a really intriguing storyline and I was interested in seeing how one of my favorite authors would write this book. I was disappointed with the ending though. I was even disappointed with the alternative ending I thought up in my head. I couldn't think of any way to make me happy because I didn't believe how the characters were acting and wished that they had changed somewhere in the middle of the novel. There were some funny parts in this book that made me laugh or smirk, but there were also several places throughout the book that made me cry. I wanted to love this book, but there was just something about the plot and characters that rubbed me the wrong way and ended up putting me against the whole book. I wouldn't recommend. It wasn't the best by Shannon Hale.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Book Review #861
Struts and Frets by Jon Skovron
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

I was pretty excited to win this book from a goodreads giveaway because it was a Young Adult novel and had an interesting cover. But when I finished reading this book I was not impressed. I liked the premise of the book but I felt like the author was trying too hard to make his character rebel against the system. The characters weren't very believable and I didn't feel for them, I wasn't interested in how they would turn out or what choices they would make. I also didn't like the amount of language and adult content in this book and I would advise young adults to steer clear of this book. It is not worth their time. I would not recommend.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Book Review #860
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was strangely disturbing and at the same time, beautiful - in a sort of heart-breaking way. There were definitely uncomfortable situations and characters and this book made me cry. But I thought the book had a point and carefully illustrated it so you could see and understand the gravity of this type of behavior. If you are looking for a happy feel good novel this is not the one you should pick up. I might not have "enjoyed" this novel per se but I'm still glad I read it and I'd recommend.