* 2/4 teaspoons of demons and v...moreINGREDIENTS FOR THE PERFECT VAMPIRE SLAYER STORY:
* 2 cups of Joss Whedon’s writing
* 2 tablespoons of one tough heroine
* 2/4 teaspoons of demons and vampires
* 1 cup of pure action-packed fun!
And what do you get? BUFFY!
Well actually, you get “Fray” this time, same premise but different character.
What is this story about?
One hundred years in the future, Manhattan has become a dark and crime ridden place and while various monsters run the streets under the notice of the police, there lives a young girl named Melaka Fray who happens to be a street thief stealing things for money. One day however, a demon named Urkonn visits Melaka and tells her that she comes from a long line of forgotten slayers and that she is destined to save Manhattan from the invasion of demons. Can Melaka save Manhattan from the demon invasion?
What I loved about this story:
Joss Whedon’s writing: Well, aside from the fact that this story is strongly related to one of my most favorite TV shows, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Joss Whedon’s writing was extremely strong and even though there were too many elements relating to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (tough heroine fighting vampires to save the world), the story felt like it was set in its own universe, even distancing itself from the world of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as this story is set in a dystopian world where criminals rule the streets. Joss Whedon has done an excellent job at setting this world in a dark futuristic world where crimes rule the street, sort of like how criminals rule the streets of Gotham City in the “Batman” comics.
Melaka Fray: I just loved the portrayal that Joss Whedon has given the main heroine of this story, Melaka Fray! Melaka Fray is like Buffy Summers from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” except she is a grittier version of Buffy since she is a thief and she loves to fight anyone for the thrill of it while Buffy Summers is tough but she always has a sweet personality that makes her a really likable person. I loved the way that Joss Whedon unfolded her character throughout this book as she is not shown as an unsympathetic street thief since she became a thief because of the death of her brother where she constantly blames herself for his death, which provides more depth to her character. Also, her estranged relationship with her law-abiding sister Erin, who happens to be a cop, also adds more depth to Melaka’s character. Also, it was awesome seeing Melaka fighting vampires as she has some really impressive moves that rival Buffy’s moves when she is fighting vampires!
Karl Moline’s and Andy Owens’ artwork: Karl Moline and Andy Owens’ artwork is extremely phenomenal in this book! I loved the way that Melaka Fray is drawn as she looks like a punk girl with blue hair that has pink tips at the ends and has purple lipstick which made her look extremely impressive and tough! I also loved the images of the demons and vampires themselves as they are really creepy looking as they are pale and have sharp teeth and yellow eyes and since I am a huge fan of gory images, there are plenty of gory images of vampires getting their heads sliced off that drawn me in this book.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
Since this book is about vampire slaying, there are many gory scenes where vampires are getting their heads cut off and also there are scenes of innocent people getting bitten by vampires that might make readers who are uncomfortable with blood and gore feel a bit disturbed. Also, even though this does not become an issue for me after I finished reading this story, there are a lot of similarities to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” that might make you think too much about “Buffy” throughout this book:
* Melaka Fray fights vampires (Buffy) * There are demons and vampires terrorizing the town (Buffy) * The heroine comes to terms with her destiny as a Slayer (Buffy)
But despite these similarities, I still think that this story stood out extremely well and I found myself being invested in the characters and the story itself!
Overall, “Fray” was an awesome read for me and I would definitely read this book over and over again in the near future. Unfortunately, there are no more books about “Fray” being made at this moment and after reading the ending of this book; I really wanted to see more of the book “Fray” and Melaka Fray’s endless battles with the vampires. I hope that Joss Whedon writes more stories about “Fray” in the future!
I have always been a huge fan of Tomie dePaola’s works ever since I was a child, with my favorites being of his “Strega Nona” stories (favorites from...moreI have always been a huge fan of Tomie dePaola’s works ever since I was a child, with my favorites being of his “Strega Nona” stories (favorites from this series are “Strega Nona” and “Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons”). Now I have stumbled upon a new book I have read from Tomie dePaola called “Helga’s Dowry: A Troll Love Story” and I was absolutely blown away by this book! “Helga’s Dowry” is about a young troll named Helga who wanted to marry a handsome troll named Lars, but because she was orphaned as a child, she has no rich dowry. So Helga decides to get a rich dowry by doing some hard work in the Land of People. “Helga’s Dowry” is a brilliant book about how hard work and determination really pays off at the end that many children will love for many years!
Wow! I was so impressed with this book! I actually wished that I had read this book when I was younger because the message about how hard work and determination gives its own rewards was done so brilliantly and cleverly! Tomie dePaola has done a brilliant job with both illustrating and writing this tale about a young female troll who wanted to earn a rich dowry to marry a handsome troll, so she works hard to get the dowry she wanted. I loved the way that Tomie dePaola made Helga into such an independent and strong female character as she tried to work hard to achieve the dowry she wanted while keeping her principles about marrying a person who accepts her for herself in check. I also loved the twist at the end of this story as it was truly unexpected, but it was still a happy ending and it made me really root for Helga! I also loved the way that Tomie dePaola made the trolls in this book seem like regular good natured people, not as villains as they are usually portrayed in most fairy tales and folktales and that really helped me relate to the characters more while making them extremely interesting to read about. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations as usual are extremely creative and hilarious to look at. I loved how Tomie dePaola drew the trolls always grinning in every image and how he drew the trolls’ tails in being long and having hairy puffs at the tips. I also loved the images of Helga herself as she is always grinning and wears a cute little white bonnet and a blue apron that really defined the times that her character was set in.
Overall, “Helga’s Dowry: A Troll Love Story” is a truly brilliant and hilarious book that children who want to learn about the importance of hard work and determination will definitely enjoy for years to come! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book for smaller children.
Amanda and Alligator (who happens to be a stuffed toy) are best friends and they love to surprise each other! Whether Amanda surprises Alligator or Alligator surprises Amanda back, they are inseparable. But, one day Amanda brings home a surprise that Alligator does not seem to like.
Will Alligator love this new surprise?
There are a total of six and a half stories that details the adventures of Amanda and her Alligator!
SO CUTE! Those are the two words that would most likely describe this book! Mo Willems has done it again in writing books for children and making them so intriguing and creative all at the same time! I loved the way that Mo Willems portrayed the friendship between Amanda and her Alligator as they truly care for each other and I love the little banters between them like this memorable exchange:
“I have a surprise for you,” said Alligator. “Would you like it?”
He giggled some more.
“Is it you yelling ‘BOO!’?” asked Amanda.
“Uh,” said Alligator, “not anymore.”
I really loved the personalities of both Amanda and Alligator as they are both snarky, but in a good way. I loved the fact that Amanda enjoys reading books and in each chapter, she is always seen reading something different whenever Alligator tries to surprise her. I also loved Mo Willems’ artwork as the artwork is simplistic yet cute at the same time. I loved the images of Alligator himself as he is shown to be bubbly shaped and has a blue color which really makes him stand out in the story. I also loved the appearance of Amanda herself as she is shown as a small girl with short black hair, a pink t-shirt and green pants and I loved her facial expressions whenever she is mad or happy.
The reason why I took off half a star for this book is because I felt that the book lacked the witty banters that Mo Willems normally put into his children’s books, even though there were a few here and there. I do think that many children will enjoy this book, but any child who loved the usual snarky comments made by the characters in most of Mo Willems’ books might be a bit disappointed to not find much in this book.
Overall, “Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator” is a truly cute book from the creative mind of Mo Willems and children who loves reading about fantastic friendships and cute little alligators would definitely enjoy this book! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since it is appropriate enough for small children.
I have been reading paranormal romance novels since forever and I have stumbled upon a paranormal novel that was certainly more different from any oth...moreI have been reading paranormal romance novels since forever and I have stumbled upon a paranormal novel that was certainly more different from any other paranormal novels I have read before. “Darkfever” is a paranormal mystery novel by Karen Marie Moning and is the first book I have read from Karen Marie Moning. “Darkfever” is one novel that is full of mystery, drama, and high thrills action that will have any paranormal fan read this book over and over again!
MacKayla Lane, Mac for short, was having a really great life until her sister Alina was mysteriously murdered in Ireland and Mac decides to go to Ireland to find her sister’s murderer and avenge her death. While in Ireland, Mac meets a mysterious yet gruff man named Jericho Barrons who was as handsome as sin and seems to know what has become of her sister, Alina. Can Mac trust this mysterious man and will she be able to avenge her sister’s death?
Wow! This was one amazing and dramatic paranormal book and I was practically reading this novel all day to find out what happens next! I would have to say that this is not really a paranormal romance novel, but more like a paranormal mystery novel since the bulk of this novel was focused on Mac trying to find out who murdered her sister and how she and Jericho start to discover the magical yet dangerous world surrounding them. Karen Marie Moning has done a brilliant job at writing this novel as it is full of mystery and frightening supernatural elements. I loved the way that Karen Marie Moning wrote this story from MacKayla Lane’s point of view on the situations that surrounded her life because we actually get a really good close up on Mac’s feelings about the situation she is stuck in and how she reacts to each of them. Probably the best aspects of this novel were the characters as they were extremely memorable and easily relatable to the audience. I really loved the heroine MacKayla Lane as she might seem a bit whiny at the beginning of the book, but she always had a strong sense of justice and she truly cared for her sister Alina as she went all the way to Ireland to bring her murderer to justice. Jericho Barrons, the hero of this story, was a really interesting character as he is just full of mystery and is handsome and muscular to boot! Even though I will admit that I sometimes get a little annoyed with Jericho’s slightly rude attitude, I was really impressed with how well he knows about the Faes and other mystical beings that threatened Ireland and how he tries to teach Mac about surviving in this dangerous world of mystical beings that want to kill them. I especially loved the hilarious banter between Jericho Barrons and MacKayla Lane as they constantly argue with each other throughout the book, but they know that they need each other to survive whatever ordeal they might go through whenever they are facing the dangerous mystical beings.
For those of you who do not like strong language, this novel does have strong language, especially with dropping the “F” bomb several times throughout this book. Also, even though there are no actual sex scenes between the characters, there were times where the main character, Mac, does think of explicit sexual images in her mind.
Overall, “Darkfever” is definitely one paranormal book I want to read over and over again and after reading the ending of this book, I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this series!
I have been reading many paranormal romance novels for teens, the main one being Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy.” Now, I have stumbled upon this new...moreI have been reading many paranormal romance novels for teens, the main one being Richelle Mead’s “Vampire Academy.” Now, I have stumbled upon this new paranormal romance book called “Unearthly” by Cynthia Hand and man, was it an excellent ride! “Unearthly” is one teen paranormal romance novel that is filled with drama, forbidden love, destiny and some hot loving that teens will definitely get a thrill out of!
Clara Gardner was just a normal teenaged girl who does normal teenage things like talking to her friends and being involved in sports. But one day, when Clara receives a vision that includes her saving a boy in Wyoming who is involved in a forest fire, she and her family, her mother and her younger brother Jeffrey, leave their hometown in California and move to Wyoming so that way, Clara can fulfill her purpose in saving the young man. While at her new school, Clara meets an attractive boy named Christian Prescott who she immediately falls in love with and just when she thought that she might have a future with Christian, Clara meets another boy named Tucker Avery who at first she does not get along with, but she starts to develop feelings for him. Unfortunately, when Clara gets closer to fulfilling her purpose, who will she choose?
Wow! This book was just so amazing that I have actually stayed up late so many nights just to get through this book! This was the first book I have read by Cynthia Hand and I am already hooked on her work! Cynthia Hand has done a brilliant job at writing this story as it is filled with drama and forbidden romance that really got me hooked the moment I started reading this book! What I loved the most about this book was how Cynthia Hand wrote each of the characters as they felt so real to me, especially with the characters, Clara Gardner, Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott. Before I get into what I loved about the heroes in this book, I would like to declare my love for the main heroine Clara Gardner. Clara Gardner is such an interesting character as she is an angel-blood and I loved the way that she is always exploring with her powers as an angel such as performing an impressive stunt called “glory” where she glows and being able to fly with her huge white wings. I also loved Clara Gardner’s character as she is extremely kind hearted yet she is always curious about her heritage and what kind of secrets it holds. Now, this was definitely the first romance novel I have come across that has two heroes in the story and they were Tucker Avery and Christian Prescott. I enjoyed both heroes, but I am definitely leaning more towards Tucker Avery. While it is true that Tucker Avery and Clara Gardner did not get off on a good start, when they started getting together, it was just magic between these two. It was awesome seeing that Tucker Avery is not the rude boy that he was presented as in the beginning of this book, but is a truly caring and honest person and that really made me fall head over heels in love with him! Christian Prescott was a truly great hero of this story as he has a kind nature and seems to care about Clara also. The only thing that sort of bothers me about Christian Prescott’s character is that we do not know much about him like we know Tucker Avery and he seems to be a plot device used in Clara’s need to be in Wyoming. I loved the way that Clara and Tucker’s relationship was moving along slowly where they try to get to know each other instead of falling instantly in love with each other because it shows how real their relationship is and how they have so much in common with each other.
The only problem with this book is that there is some language in this book, but it is not too bad and it is extremely few in between. For anyone who might be offended by profanity, you might want to skip over the scenes that contain the offending language.
Overall, “Unearthly” is clearly a brilliant book about choosing what you want, despite destiny having a way into your life and because of this book; I am more interested than ever in reading the sequel,Hallowed.
“Loud Emily” is a children’s book that was selected for the Goodreads Picture Book Club group read and it is written by Alexis O’Neill along with illu...more“Loud Emily” is a children’s book that was selected for the Goodreads Picture Book Club group read and it is written by Alexis O’Neill along with illustrations by Nancy Carpenter. “Loud Emily” is about a young girl named Emily who was born with an extremely loud voice, but learns that she could use it to her advantage. “Loud Emily” is definitely a cute book that would really help children enjoy being themselves.
The moment that Emily was born, she had an extremely loud voice and even though her parents thought that she would grow out of it once she gets older, Emily still has an extremely loud voice when she got older. One day, Emily’s parents were worrying over Emily’s loud voice and they decided to send her to a boarding school called “Miss Meekmeister’s School for Soft-Spoken Girls” so she could learn to lower her voice. However, before Emily went to the boarding school, the cook, who Emily helped out with early on, wanted to take Emily to Front Street. When Emily got to Front Street, she saw the ship harbor and many sailors running around and then she found out that Captain Baroo needed someone who has a loud voice that can call out orders to his crew. Emily takes the job and her journey begins!
“Loud Emily” is one of those rare children’s books I have ever read that not only shows a child dealing with a certain odd aspect of her character in a positive way, but also sort of teaches us about what times were like during the 1850s. Alexis O’Neill has done an excellent job at not only providing an extremely cute story about a girl who is loud but uses this to her advantage, but also in providing us information about how whaling has affected the industries in the 1850s. I loved the way that Alexis O’Neill detailed Emily’s problem of not being able to talk softly because she was born with a loud voice in an extremely positive way and the scene where Emily used her loud voice to call out orders in the ship was amazing to see as Emily is able to use her loud voice to her advantage! I also loved the information that Alexis O’Neill provided about how the whaling industry affected the 1850s (even though it was barely mentioned in the story, but it is probably for the best since it might disturb younger children) and I also like how Alexis O’Neill defined each sailor term at the beginning of the book such as “Avast!” which means “stop what you’re doing!” so that way it would be easier for younger children to understand the terms. Nancy Carpenter’s illustrations are extremely beautiful and creative as her illustrations were based on the works of American folk artists as the endpapers are in scrimshaw carvings. I also loved the images of Emily herself as she has blond hair and a pretty red dress and it was hilarious seeing her mouth open up large every time she is talking.
Probably the only problem I had with this book was that the plot tends to move slowly and not much really happens in this story.
Overall, “Loud Emily” is a truly cute story for children who want to learn about times during the 1850s and about how you can use your special talents that might be odd for other people to your advantage. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the sailor language might be too difficult for younger children to understand.
After reading so many graphic novels that were geared towards older teens and adults (Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series and Bill Willingha...more
After reading so many graphic novels that were geared towards older teens and adults (Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series and Bill Willingham’s “Fables” series), I never would have thought that I would come across a graphic novel that has coarse language practically littered out throughout the entire story while dealing with a subject matter that is so controversial to many readers. That graphic novel, my friends, is “Preacher: Gone to Texas” and man, was I in for a wild ride of my reading life!
What is this story about?
Reverend Jesse Custer was a minister who was starting to lose his followers and his faith in God. But one fateful day, Jesse Custer is hit by a bright light which ends up destroying the church he was holding his sermons in. Jesse survives the catastrophe, but everyone who attended the church was all killed and Jesse ends up being on the run from the law while gaining the power called “the Word of God” where he can control people into doing what he wants. Joining him is his ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire named Cassidy (vampires? Yeah, this story is getting weirder) and the three companions set out on a journey to find God, who had quit his job in heaven, so that way, Jesse would get his answers about why Genesis is inside his body. Unfortunately, a hunter sent by Heaven is after Jesse and his gang in order to prevent Jesse from finding out the truth!
What I loved about this story:
Garth Ennis’s writing: Wow…just wow. Now before I get into what I enjoyed about Garth Ennis’s writing, I would like to point out how shocked (and impressed) I was with the amount of language in this graphic novel. Never, had I read a graphic novel that managed to drop the “f” bomb on every single page along with some other coarse language. This actually interested me rather than disgust me because I was basically counting how many curse words popped up on each page every time a character was speaking and I had a fun time with it! Since this is basically the first graphic novel I had read by Garth Ennis, I was amazed at the creativity being put into this story, especially for the fact that Garth Ennis took a subject matter so controversial (in this case, religion) and turned it into an interesting fantasy story that was extremely well written. It was also interesting in how Garth Ennis explored American culture through Texas and how the main characters are the ones who are more sympathetic than the rest of the characters featured since they are trying to make the world a better place, no matter how TWISTED it may sound! My favorite character in this story was probably Cassidy, the Irish vampire as it was so unusual to see a vampire pop up in a story about religion. I also loved his personality as he is probably the funniest character in this story and I loved the fact that he was willing to help out Jesse and Tulip when they really needed it.
Steve Dillon’s artwork: Steve Dillon’s artwork was pretty impressive as the characters’ facial expressions are realistic and effective. I also loved the way that Steve Dillon illustrated the gruesome scenes of some of the characters being killed and the artwork was done so vividly that I found myself cringing at the murder scenes.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
All the negative things that I had mentioned (murders, controversial use of religion, language) are actually things that I did enjoyed about this story since it is rare for me to read a graphic novel that is basically covered from head to toe with offensive content, so it was basically second nature to me when I was reading this volume. However, this might not go over well for anyone who does not like coarse language and strong violence, so anyone who does not like violence and strong language might want to avoid this graphic novel. Now, the REAL REASON why I gave this volume a four star rating is because I felt that the pacing of the story was a bit slow in some places as the characters would spent a good majority of the book talking and not much action happens during these scenes. While I do want good character interactions and this comic definitely has some good character interactions, I also wanted to see more action play up in the story.
Overall, “Preacher: Gone to Texas” is easily one of the most OFFENSIVE, CRUDE, CONTROVERSIAL yet INTERESTING graphic novels that I had ever read and I would recommend it to fans of Garth Ennis’ works and readers who love reading controversial books!
Ever since I heard so much about Wolverine’s past in the Weapon X program and how much that played a huge role in the charac...more5.5 stars!
Ever since I heard so much about Wolverine’s past in the Weapon X program and how much that played a huge role in the character he has become, I wanted to try and read more on his back story of being apart of Weapon X. To be honest, “Wolverine: Weapon X” was the first story I have read that details the horrors that Wolverine has to go through when he was apart of the Weapon X program and I must say that I really enjoyed this book much more than I expected!
What is the story?
Basically, this comic details the horrors that Wolverine goes through when he is abducted by scientists working on Weapon X and some of the horrors that Wolverine faces is that he has to go through the terrible experiments that the scientists put him through such as having him kill animals like wolves and bears and attaching his body to so many cords from machines. One day however, Wolverine escapes the program and causes massive mayhem in the lab!
What I loved about this comic:
The story itself: Even though this was the first time I have read one of Wolverine’s back stories on his life with Weapon X and there are like millions of other stories that tells Wolverine’s back story with Weapon X, I found Barry Windsor-Smith’s interpretation on Wolverine’s back story to be extremely interesting and intense. Even though the story is told more from the Professor’s point of view than from Wolverine’s, it was shocking and intense to see Wolverine being treated like a lab animal just so the Weapon X program could turn Wolverine into their own personal soldier. I also loved the way that Barry Windsor-Smith made this story just as effective by not having any kind of narration in this comic to explain the story and instead tells this story by showing the readers the tortures that Wolverine has to go through when he was being held as an experiment for Weapon X and I also loved the way that Barry Windsor-Smith basically had the characters tell the story through their interactions with each other such as the Professor discussing the procedures of experimenting on Wolverine to his employees. I also loved the way that Barry Windsor-Smith gave a frightening and intense tone to this story since Wolverine’s experiences with Weapon X are so terrifying that this actually reads out more like a horror story than an actual “X-Men” story.
Barry Windsor-Smith’s artwork: Barry Windsor-Smith’s artwork on this story was extremely dazzling and intense. I loved the intense artwork on the scenes where Wolverine is being experimented on since so much detail is put into the scenes. I will admit that I am a huge fan of images that has blood and gore in it. I know that sounds a little gross, but Barry Windsor-Smith put so much detail into the gory scenes that I found myself being more drawn into the story because of that. Some of the gory scenes in this book that stood out for me were of the scenes where wires and needles are being stuck through Wolverine and the scenes where Wolverine’s claws shoot out of his hands and you can see blood spurting out his hands as the claws come out.
What made me feel uncomfortable about this book:
This story is really gory and frightening because it details the torture that Wolverine has to go through when he was being experiment on by the scientists working on Weapon X. There are so many gory images of Wolverine being experimented on that might make anyone who does not like gory images cringe such as the images of Wolverine fighting off animals and human beings and some images have shown Wolverine’s victims having their ribs being shown after they are killed by Wolverine. Also, the last few images in this story might be a tad bit disturbing since it turns into a nightmare when Wolverine is loose in the lab. There were also some confusing scenes for me that I had to really read the text closely to understand it and that was mainly towards the end of the story. I will not tell what happens at the end of the story since it might spoil the story, but it had that “things are not what they seem” vibe at the end that sort of confused me.
Overall, “Wolverine: Weapon X” was an enjoyable read for me because it actually detailed the horrors that Wolverine faced in Weapon X in such vivid detail that I found myself really sympathizing with Wolverine as he was forcefully thrown into this predicament and I was horrified at the things that the people at Weapon X did to him, making this one of the most disturbing reads from the “X-Men” series I have ever came across.
I know that there are other stories about Wolverine’s history with Weapon X, so please feel free to recommend me some other good titles about Wolverine’s Weapon X stories!
I have read many children’s books that dealt with a child imagining themselves into a place where they have wild adventures (Where the Wild Things Are...moreI have read many children’s books that dealt with a child imagining themselves into a place where they have wild adventures (Where the Wild Things Are comes to mind) and I have enjoyed every single one! “When I Wore My Sailor Suit” is a children’s book written by Uri Shulevitz, who also illustrated The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship: A Russian Tale and it details the adventures that a young boy has while he was a sailor. “When I Wore My Sailor Suit” is a truly memorable book for children who love adventures!
The book starts off with a young boy who puts on a sailor suit, a sailor hat and his sailor whistle so he could go off on an adventure. His mother gives him an apple and a cookie to take for provisions and he goes upstairs to the Mintzes’ apartment and goes inside their room to play. Once the boy spots a ship on the dresser, he puts the ship on the floor and starts his journey!
When I read this book, I keep thinking about Maurice Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, especially during the scene where the young boy sails over the ocean and gets caught up in a storm. There are so many similarities between “Where the Wild Things Are” and this book, “When I Wore My Sailor Suit” and I enjoyed the imaginative aspects of both stories where both characters imagined themselves into another world. In this book however, Uri Shulevitz has done an excellent job at both writing and illustrating this story about a young boy imagining all of his adventures in his neighbor’s apartment. Uri Shulevitz’s writing is extremely cute and memorable since it strongly relates to how many children enjoying imagining themselves into a new world unlike the world they are living in right now. I loved reading about the boy’s adventures from sailing across the ocean to trying to conquer his fears over a scary looking painting. I remembered my fears of scary looking paintings when I was small, but now, I really enjoy looking at disturbing images (sometimes). It was also amazing in knowing that this story was based on Uri Shulevitz’s own childhood during World War II, which is further explained in his other picture book How I Learned Geography Uri Shulevitz’s illustrations are just so beautiful and colorful and they greatly complement the adventures that the boy goes on in his imagination. My favorite image was of the young boy trying to overcome his fear of a frightening looking painting that has a pale face man that has a long mustache and a blue hat and is always staring at the boy in a frightening manner.
Overall, “When I Wore My Sailor Suit” is a truly memorable story about the power of imagination and about conquering your fears and children every where will enjoy this story for many years to come! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the writing is simple and there is nothing inappropriate in this story, unless the image of the scary looking man in the picture might frighten younger children.
I have been reading historical romance novels for many years now and “Untouched” is certainly the first romance novel I have read from Anna Campbell....moreI have been reading historical romance novels for many years now and “Untouched” is certainly the first romance novel I have read from Anna Campbell. “Untouched” is certainly one romance novel that is way different from all other romance novels I have read and it has enough drama, hot sizzling romance and forbidden love to keep any romance fan entertained!
The book starts off with a beautiful woman named Grace Paget who is suddenly kidnapped by two terrible men and was brought to Lord John’s estate to “entertain” his nephew Matthew Sheene. However, Grace soon realizes that Matthew is also a prisoner in his cruel uncle’s estate and while they slowly fall in love with each other, they must try to escape the horrible estate they are both trapped in so that they could save their own lives!
Wow! I must admit that this book took me on a wild ride because I have never read a romance novel quite like this one! Anna Campbell has certainly done a great job at writing this story about forbidden love and desperation. What made this novel stood out from all the rest of the romance novels is that both the hero and heroine are tortured as they are trapped in a terrible place that tortures them physically and mentally and they spend most of the book trying to figure out ways to make their escape. I loved the way that Anna Campbell wrote the characters in this book, especially with Matthew Sheene and Grace Paget. I honestly love Matthew Sheene to death as he is truly one remarkable hero who has been tortured all of his life by his cruel uncle and was declared “mad” to the world. What made Matthew Sheene shine throughout this book is that even though he was tortured by his uncle, he is truly courageous and honest and I loved the way that he tried to protect Grace from his cruel uncle at all costs, even if it means the cost of his own life. Grace Paget is a truly inspiring heroine as she may seem a bit shy at certain points, but she is always speaking her mind and I love how devoted she was to saving Matthew from his uncle’s clutches also as it proved how much she truly cares for him. But, the best part in this entire book was the love-making between Matthew and Grace as it was hot and sizzling and I literally was fanning myself whenever I read these little scenes between Matthew and Grace!
The reason why I gave this book a four star rating is because there were times where the plot tends to slow down a bit and I always find myself trying to skim over those parts extremely quickly just to get to the exciting parts of the story. Also, sometimes I got so irritated with Grace Paget throughout this book because every time Matthew Sheene tries to profess his love towards her, Grace always remain distant from him and I just wanted Grace to just tell Matthew how much she cares for him and stop evading him every time he confesses his love for her. Also, there are a couple scenes in this book that might make some readers uncomfortable such as the explicit sex scenes and one scene where a character is nearly raped. So, if you are uncomfortable with the sex scenes and the near rape scene, you might want to skim over those scenes since they are vivid in detail.
Overall, “Untouched” is a truly engaging story about forbidden love that romance fans will definitely enjoy for many years! Now that I have first read one of Anna Campbell’s works, I am interested in reading some more works from her!
I have read many interpretations of the classic Brothers Grimm tale “The Fisherman and his Wife,” but this is the first time I have read the Russian v...moreI have read many interpretations of the classic Brothers Grimm tale “The Fisherman and his Wife,” but this is the first time I have read the Russian version of this tale. “The Magic Gold Fish” is a Russian folktale retold by Demi and it is about how a poor fisherman wants to please his greedy wife when he finds a magic golden fish. “The Magic Gold Fish” is a great retelling of the ancient tale that children everywhere will love!
One day, a poor fisherman catches a gold fish and the gold fish promised to repay the kind fisherman in any kind of way. Unfortunately, the fisherman’s greedy wife wanted more from the fish, which includes a cottage, a mansion and a czarina!
Ever since I have been reading Demi’s works, I was always amazed at how detailed and beautiful her retellings of ancient folktales are! Demi’s writing is extremely dramatic and interesting at the same time as the fisherman is thrown into one crazy situation into another and I loved the Russian elements being put into this story such as “czarina” and “distaff.” Demi’s illustrations were simply gorgeous as she uses traditional Chinese inks to illustrate the drawings in this book. I especially loved the Russian landscapes in this book such as the picture of the royal palace looking red and having red flags waving in the air. I also loved the illustrations of the fisherman’s wife being dressed in gold and red royal clothing after she wishes to be a czarina and it really helped me see Russia in ancient times through a picture book.
The problem I had with this book is that the wife is a bit too cruel in this version as she goes from beating her husband up to making him live in the stables and pushing him away from her. Okay, well maybe she is more vain than cruel, but it was just so hard to even like her character in this version and I constantly feel sorry for the fisherman as he has to take his wife’s abuse throughout the book. So in a way, the ending was a bit satisfying for me because the fisherman’s wife gets what is coming to her for her greed, but at the same time, I felt that there should have been more added at the end, such as whether or not the fisherman’s wife learned her lesson or not.
All in all, “The Magic Gold Fish” was an interesting spin on the classic Brothers Grimm tale and children everywhere who love reading Russian folktales will definitely enjoy this classic tale! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the greedy wife might upset smaller children. (less)
Since last year in 2011, I have started reading Jennifer Ashley’s fantastic “Highland Pleasures” series...moreReview also on:Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Since last year in 2011, I have started reading Jennifer Ashley’s fantastic “Highland Pleasures” series beginning with “The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie” and ever since then, I have fallen in love with this fantastic series! Now, I have currently read the third book in the “Highland Pleasures” series which is called “The Many Sins of Lord Cameron” and it is easily the best story in the series so far! “The Many Sins of Lord Cameron” has loads of action, heartwarming moments and hot romance that every romance fan will definitely gush over for many years!
Six years ago, a young Cameron Mackenzie meets up with a young woman named Ainsley Douglas and even though they tried to make love to each other that day, Ainsley could not finish it because she was married to John Douglas at the time and did not want to betray him. Years later, Ainsley Douglas is now a widow and when she meets up with the notorious Cameron Mackenzie again, Cameron decided that he will finish what was started between him and Ainsley six years ago. However, Cameron and Ainsley will soon realize that dark secrets will be revealed and that their love for each other might ignite brighter than before!
Oh my goodness! This book was just absolutely amazing, heartbreaking and exciting all at the same time! Jennifer Ashley has certainly woven a truly brilliant and heartwarming story about two lovers who both have dark secrets in their pasts, but are willing to put the past behind them in order to obtain true love! I just loved all the characters in this book and Jennifer Ashley has done an awesome job at crafting each character’s personalities to make every one of them stand out. I especially loved Daniel Mackenzie, Cameron’s son, who was always trying to bring Ainsley and Cameron together while providing good humor for the story. It was amusing seeing how Daniel always seems to know what is best for his father and Ainsley while he is always doing the opposite of what his father tells him to do. I really loved the awkward relationship that Daniel shares with Cameron because it brings so much humor to the story, especially with Daniel just randomly spewing out secrets that his father never told anyone. Now about the two main characters, Ainsley Douglas and Cameron Mackenzie, they were probably the greatest couple I have ever read about in any romance novel! Ainsley Douglas is shown to be a strong and crafty heroine who does not let anything get in her way of her love for Cameron and it was hilarious seeing her constantly pick locks to get into other people’s rooms. I also loved the way that Ainsley was trying to help Cameron overcome his inner demons that dealt with his late wife, Elizabeth and the things that Elizabeth did to Cameron were just too horrible to describe. This truly shows that Ainsley really cares about Cameron and was willing to put her own desires on the side to be with Cameron. Cameron Mackenzie is probably my favorite hero at this moment because he is so dark yet handsome and that really made his character truly interesting! I also loved the way that Jennifer Ashley describes Cameron’s body being a body of “God” as he is truly large and muscular and tall! But what truly touched me about Cameron’s character was with his dark and frightening past. It was sad seeing Cameron being so distrusting of women because of what his late wife, Elizabeth did to him all those years and I really felt sympathy for Cameron. Bringing out Cameron’s dark past and his sadness over it has really brought out a new dimension to Cameron’s character by making him somewhat vulnerable, but still trying to overcome that fear that he has been holding up for many years. I really loved the love shared between Cameron and Ainsley as it was genuine and sensual at the same time that I was literally anticipating the next scene of them loving each other!
For those of you who do not like sex scenes, there is sex scenes littered throughout this book and they are extremely explicit as many naughty phrases are littered throughout each sex scene.
Overall, “The Many Sins of Lord Cameron” is easily one of the best books out of Jennifer Ashley’s “Highland Pleasures” series and I am definitely looking forward to reading Hart’s book, “The Duke’s Perfect Wife.” (less)
Imagine two of your favorite celebrities (Robin Williams and Tracey Ullman in this case) narrating stories that are targeted towards children. That is...moreImagine two of your favorite celebrities (Robin Williams and Tracey Ullman in this case) narrating stories that are targeted towards children. That is a fantastic thought is it not? That is what I thought whenever I listen to any of these classic “Rabbit Ears Treasury” audio CD series and this small collection which is called “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Storybook Classics Volume 1: Pecos Bill and Puss in Boots” is definitely an audio CD that is right up my alley!
I have pretty much already summarized both of these stories through their book counterparts, so I will just briefly summarize each story:
Pecos Bill Told by: RobinWilliams Music by: Ry Cooder
Join the wild and rollicking adventures of America’s number one cowboy, Pecos Bill! Listen to the stories of how Pecos Bill created the first cattle drive, meet up with a sassy yet beautiful cowgirl and managed to wrestle with a cyclone single-handedly!
Puss in Boots Told by: Tracey Ullman Music by: Jean-Luc Ponty
When the youngest son of a miller wanted to eat Puss in Boots, Puss in Boots tries to help the youngest son win the hand of the king’s daughter and get a kingdom in order to save his hide!
Be amazed! Be very, very amazed at what two small stories can pack into an hour!
These two tales that are considered the more hilarious and modernized versions of the classic fairy tales are pure epic classics!
My favorite of the two stories is probably “Pecos Bill” because Robin Williams has always been one hilarious actor and his narration of this ancient tall tale really brought this story to life! I really loved the spectacular adventures that Pecos Bill endures such as lassoing a cyclone in the west! Ry Cooder’s music is simply magical and fits the playful mood of the story perfectly as it gives the story a more energetic feel. In the second story, “Puss in Boots,” Tracey Ullman is just as hilarious in her narration as Robin Williams was in narrating “Pecos Bill.” I always have a thing for actors portraying certain accents fluently and Tracey Ullman portrayed both a French accent and a British accent within this story with such clarity that I actually imagined myself living during those times.
Jean-Luc Ponty’s music is extremely graceful and it fits the somewhat sophisticated mood of this story perfectly as the music is mainly composed of violin musical pieces.
There is only one small and tiny problem with this audio CD and it is that there is no book to accompany it. For those of you who have grown up with the Rabbit Ears stories during the 80s and 90s, you might remember that there used to be a little something called books and cassettes where the books are sold along with the tape cassettes that contain the stories being narrated by the celebrities. So, you might be a bit disappointed that there are no books accompanying these audio CDs because, if you wanted to share these stories with your children or with your friends, then it might be a bit difficult to show them how the story goes without the book being accompanied with the audio CD.
Overall, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Storybook Classics Volume 1: Pecos Bill and Puss in Boots” is definitely one collection of classic stories that you certainly do not want to miss and it will definitely remain with many children for years to come!
Now before I close up this review, I would like to ask you all a question:
Question: Have you heard of Rabbit Ears Productions before?
If you had heard of this company before, relate your favorite stories or your experiences with this series or if you have not heard of this series before, go ahead and check out this fantastic series!