The girls and I are loving this second book too (still enjoying it on audio). We often pull into our garage and sit there in the car because we are juThe girls and I are loving this second book too (still enjoying it on audio). We often pull into our garage and sit there in the car because we are just that into the story and can't tear ourselves away.
Ok, Alex is starting to have horrible Nightmares that keep her awake for a couple hours in the middle of the night. Rory is fine, but I couldn't let them finish it. We will start Sisters Grimm. :)...more
Some parts of this book have really made me shudder... I love the audio narration. The girls are listening to it with me. They love scary stories-- thSome parts of this book have really made me shudder... I love the audio narration. The girls are listening to it with me. They love scary stories-- this one is pretty scary. ...more
Wow! I was expecting a really cute, fun fantasy (which I love- who doesn't!) but got SO much more!! There is so much depth and feeling to this story.Wow! I was expecting a really cute, fun fantasy (which I love- who doesn't!) but got SO much more!! There is so much depth and feeling to this story. Sheila Nielson is a beautiful writer in every arena: pros, ideals, characters, and morals. I absolutely LOVED that Adrianne was a true hero: she did what was right, no matter how hard. And when the choice seemed to be between right and right, she impressed even further. I was surprised to find myself tearing up quite a few times- there are some wonderful lessons of character-building to be had by every reader.
Like "Peppermints in the Parlor" helped to influence me as a young child to think differently about old people (to not let awkwardness or intimidation keep me idle, but to take steps to get to know them, learn from them, and love them), so can "The Forbidden Sea" influence us to think differently regarding appearance (there are so many varieties of beauty- not just one cookie-cutter mold), style (it isn't everything and second, it can still be fun!), a desperate person (we can try to look past frightful or odd actions to see the desperation behind it and learn to give what is needed), and selflessness (that characteristic that requires courage and ultimately defines a hero).
I could not put this book down. It was extremely fun and thought-provoking. Thanks for writing such a wonderful book, Ms. Nielson! I can't wait to see what comes next!...more
**spoiler alert** The three stars might make it look like I didn't like this book, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! The reasons I felt I couldn't**spoiler alert** The three stars might make it look like I didn't like this book, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed it! The reasons I felt I couldn't give it a higher rating are 1) lack of originality and 2) Even though this is a fantastical book/story, the ending was a bit too fantastical and abrupt for my liking.
Before reading a book, I always consider the author's intended audience and proceed from there. If the intended audience is the young reader, I don't expect any more, and I look for the authors integrity to that audience. So with that level established, the reasons I really enjoyed reading this book are 1) the details that McKinley takes you into Beauty's character, 2) the set-up of story line and characters, 3) that the main character was a hero. My definition of hero: someone who has great character, honor, integrity, and has the strength and courage to act upon what he/she knows to be right. In my opinion, the only part of Beauty's character in which she is lacking is her self-image. I think that McKinley intended her deprecative self-image to come across as charmingly humble, but the truth is that she's sending a disturbing message to her young readers. To loathe oneself has never been, nor ever will be, a pleasing attribute in the eyes of God. To be humble and not vain, is a pleasing attribute. While Beauty did not attain the latter, she also was not fully guilty of the former. But it remains that McKinley did miss the mark by just a tad. She just went a little too far with Beauty being horrified of anyone thinking she might not be ugly. I'm only criticizing because I wanted Beauty to be the perfect hero. It's okay that she knew she wasn't a beauty, but she just put way too much thought and effort into that idea. Then in the end, I found it disturbing that not until she realized she truly was beautiful did she find her self worth, and feel worthy to marry her prince.
So, at first glance, it seems like an innocent enough fun-read. But the underlying messages that we all receive can do their damage, especially to the intended audience: young readers. I feel that as long as this can be pointed out and discussed, it's still a good, fun book to read, and therefore, should not be avoided....more