CATCHALL I love, love, love Jessica Day George. Her entire Princess trilogy has been fantastic, and this book was n*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****
CATCHALL I love, love, love Jessica Day George. Her entire Princess trilogy has been fantastic, and this book was no exception. It was romantic and sweet but also a bit daring and dangerous, and overall fabulous. Though I didn't love this one as much as the previous two and it is my least favorite book in the trilogy, I still absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic conclusion and it excited me to my very bones. Every danger was very real, and the mystery was intense. I fell in love with the story and didn't want it to end.
THE HEROINE PETUNIA Petunia is again, probably my least favorite of the three princesses featured in this series, but I still adored her. She was brave, and although she could be impulsive and a bit dense, she still was fun to be around. She was far from perfect, although I still had a difficult time connecting to her for whatever reason. She wasn't entirely relatable. Even so, she never whined, which was a relief. There wasn't one defining thing about her that I disliked, and overall she was a well-developed character.
THE LOVE INTEREST OLIVER Oliver is introduced as somewhat of a bandit. Cheated by the war with Analousia, his land has been taken away and in order to feed his people and survive, he's had to steal and trespass. Even so, he's far from bad-hearted. He only does this for survival. He's angry, but he still doesn't take hard vengeance where he could, not when he knows it's better not to. And he's fiercely loyal. He'll do anything for Petunia, take any risk, if it means keeping her safe. He puts others before himself no matter what.
THE PLOT Oh my, the plot. Fantastic, of course. When I first read about it, I feared that it might be too similar to the others. I could not be more pleased to be wrong. It was definitely a unique tale in its own right and a pleasure to read. I loved the fairytale aspect and the way it was woven into the story, all while remaining true to itself.
It's a retelling of Red Riding Hood, but there were some other fantastic things mixed in. The King Under Stone is back, and he'll do anything to get Rose and his sisters trapped in his realm. There's an elderly grandmother whose plans may not be all innocence, and a handsome prince who might only be in this for his own gain. There are also wolves, but they may not be the enemy.
There was mystery, which was awesome. Gotta love mystery. You don't really know who is on what side until the end, or where everything is going.
There are appearances by several older and much-loved characters who end up having surprisingly major roles. Everyone is important in this story.
More than that, though, is that there is tragedy, and that's what really opened up this book for me. I cried. I cried my eyes out. For while there was happiness and love, there was also great sacrifice. And that sacrifice broke my heart. I love that it wasn't all simple, and that there was pain.
THE ROMANCE So, the romance. Eee! Well, to be honest, it was a tad instalovey. Even so, it wasn't horribly instalovey and I did like it. For the longest time I had a difficult time seeing what they loved about each other, but eventually it really did become apparent. It wasn't perfect, but it could have been worse. I also think that a different path in the romance might have been interesting, but it was barely explored. Even so, I do like Oliver and Petunia together. I like the bond they share. We also get glimpses at the other princess' romances and I adored that too.
THE WRITING Jess' writing is fantastic. It really is. It uses alternate POV from Petunia and Oliver. It's third person, and yet we still get very deep insights into the person. It's awesome being inside their heads and amazing how she manages to give each character such a unique voice. I could always tell who was speaking. Also, the description was marvelous. I love the way she describes the different worlds and places. It's like they literally come to life, real places that truly exist.
THE ENDING The ending was marvelous. For the longest I was worried, wondering how she was going to make it into a happy ending. There as so much trouble and drama that it seemed like things could never be resolved. But of course, they were! There was happy fairy tale magic that thrilled me and was absolutely perfect. There was so much sweetness and happiness I thought that I would burst (in a good way!). There were other characters too who finally get their own happy endings, and it was basically just perfection.
WRAPUP So, did I absolutely love Princess of the Silver Woods? Um, heck yes! I'll definitely be rereading it in the future, as well as whatever Jessica decides to publish. I am totally a fan for life. I also wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's a sweet, cute fantastical romance with a bit of mystery and a dash of magic, making it fun and gorgeous. It is a truly enjoyable read that I think will find its way into many reader's hearts. I absolutely adored it, and I think if you give it a try you will, too. You can also read any of these three books without reading the others, but it's preferable to read all three!
CATCHALL This book came out months ago, and I have been meaning to buy it for ages, but have never gotten around to*****FINAL RATING: 4.70 STARS*****
CATCHALL This book came out months ago, and I have been meaning to buy it for ages, but have never gotten around to it. Finally, I put my foot down and forced myself to buy it. I have made few better decisions in my life. This book was totally awesome and I beyond loved it! I simply could not get enough and was literally up all night just because I was desperate to finish it. The characters and plot were incredible, and I was very impressed.
THE HERO ABRAHAM GRISWOLD For a dead guy, he is damn sexy. Actually, screw that. For any guy, anywhere, anytime, he is damn sexy. Seriously. I have no idea how he can be so hot, but he is. I absolutely love Bram. So very, very much. He's freaking amazing, and if you could see me right now I'm doing major fangirling and not ashamed of it in the least. Bram is sweet and protective while at the same time tough. He knows what's what and isn't afraid to stand up for himself or his friends. He's an awesome charter with real substance, and I love him.
THE HEROINE NORA DEARLY I really, really, really loved Nora. She's extremely brave and admirable. I don't know if I could go through all the things that she does and still be sane! But somehow she does, and that's she amazing. I love how she really pushes through everything even when her world is turned on its head. Everything changes for her, but instead of trying to stubbornly hold on she keeps pushing forward.
THE BEST FRIEND PAMELA DOT Pam starts off kind of boring, but she really grows as the story progresses. Instead of melting when Nora disappears, she uses that opportunity to find out what she's really made of. I love how she finds out who she is and steps into an awesome role.
THE OTHER ROYALS ISAMBARD DOT He starts off as a total jerk, but later on I actually came to admire him. He goes through a lot and gets changed because of it, but it's done so realistically that it's believable. I ended up actually liking him and hope to see more of him. MICHAEL ALLISTER He seemed really sweet at first, and gave Pam the attention she wanted. He treated her very well and made her think he cared about her, and then turns cruel and shows his ugly self. I did not like him at all.
THE OTHER WALKING DEAD TOM Tom was hilarious! I absolutely adored him! he provided awesome comic relief, which was great. I thought he was a beautifully developed character and if we see more of him, I will most assuredly be happy. COALHOUSE Coalhouse was interesting. He seems kind of immature during most of the book, but he takes an action at the end that's both shocking and sweet and made me think better of him. I do want to hear more about him, and I'm pretty sure I will. RENFIELD Ren was so awesome! He's really smart, for one thing. Also, he's really smart. For some reason, I also picture him to be hot. No idea why, but hey, it works. I think that I would be really enthused if I got to read an entire book about him and I'm not even sure why, but whatever. CHAS Basically, she was freaking awesome. I totally loved her! She had a fantastic attitude and it was impossible not to admire her.
THE PLOT The plot was awesome! So much action, so much romance. I simply could not put it down! I say that a lot, but I mean it every time.
Seriously, the plot was really original. Part steampunk, part dystopian, part horror, part paranormal romance. I've never read anything even remotely like it. It was totally unique and it was executed so beautifully!
I love zombies, but I don't read nearly enough zombie books. I'm glad that I chose this to be one of them! It only made my love for zombies grow and I was completely in love with Lia's concept of zombies only a few pages after their appearance. It's so unique and different.
This book had a lot of charm! I know that not everyone loves every book and I am totally okay with that, but this is one of those books that I seriously do not understand how everyone cannot love it! Of course, everyone won't, and that's cool. Still, it's really worth a chance at least.
The plot of this book kept me intrigued and interested. I beyond adored it and it really could not have been better!
THE ROMANCE The romance develops sweetly, slowly, but potently. There's real power and love behind it. Nora and Bram have such awesome chemistry, and as much as I love Bram, I also love him and Nora together and I wouldn't want to tear them apart for anything. They absolutely belong together and it should never be any other way. Ever. They are so sweet together, and perfect. The romance feels real and I adored the development.
THE WRITING Lia has absolutely gorgeous writing. I'm so jealous! The story is told from first-person POV, mostly by Bram and Nora, but with a healthy amount from Pam and a few chapters told in the POV of other characters who I will not name. I loved the chapters told from Bram's and Nora's POV above all! Pam's chapters were boring at first but quickly got interesting and captured my heart. The others aren't so interesting, but are necessary to understand what's going on, and I appreciate that. Lia's beautiful writing definitely helps my appreciation.
THE ENDING Dearly, Departed ends on a sad note. It seems like at first they might get a happy ending, but Nora quickly realizes that that's not the way it's going to be. Instead, the battle's really only begun. There's so much more that's going to happen in the next book, but this book ended on the perfect note. It wraps everything up prettily, but leaves enough open for another book, and basically is just perfect.
WRAPUP I love Lia Habel! I will probably read all of her future books, including the upcoming Dearly, Beloved especially. I am so thrilled! Dearly, departed was an absolutely incredible book and one of my all-time favorite reads easily.
CATCHALL If I loved Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved was really something else. It was completely unlike anything*****FINAL RATING: 4.85 STARS*****
CATCHALL If I loved Dearly, Departed, Dearly, Beloved was really something else. It was completely unlike anything I've ever read and completely perfect. I fell in love with it from page one and never stopped. It's easily one of the most amazing books that I have ever read and one of my favorites of 2012 for sure. I almost couldn't believe how awesome it was. It literally and completely blew me away—I mean, it was honestly that amazing. It was totally a different story than the one told in the first book, and yet I loved it every bit as much.
THE HERO BRAM I adore Bram just as much as I did in the first book. He's gorgeous, and brave. I'm sounding like a total fangirl, and to be honest, I probably am. I just love him. He's isn't afraid to stand up for what's right, and he'll do anything to protect Nora and his friends. He usually can see what needs to be done and does it. However, he is not so perfect that it's ridiculous, and of course he makes mistakes that he has to work his way out of. And he never wastes time. He is truly an awesome hero.
THE HEROINE NORA Nora is so sweet, but she's also anything but innocent. She can do things that are brave but rash, and yet the reasons she has for taking such risks always leads back to protecting her friends. She isn't foolish at all. I adore Nora. She's an extremely relatable heroine. It's really easy for me to identify with her. She's every girl. Despite everything that she goes through, she stays strong and doesn't lose herself. Instead of dwelling on the past, she looks towards the future.
THE BEST FRIEND PAMELA Pam bothered me at times, but for the most part I genuinely liked her. She's struggling to fit into this new world, and she's trying to in the only way she knows how. Honestly, it's actually pretty admirable. She's not afraid to get in the action and she's so loyal to Nora in the fiercest yet sweetest way.
THE OTHER ROYALS ISAMBARD Isambard wasn't in this book much, although I do like what we see of him. He's changed a lot, but then in some ways he also hasn't, and that's refreshing. I love the way he's used to represent, and what he's portrayed as. MICHAEL Michael is a jerk, plain and simple, but he makes for a deliciously insane and corrupted villain. It was creepy and yet totally awesome to be inside his head. I seriously, seriously loved it. Watching his character and his anger unfold was remarkable. Also he is a total kleptomaniac, which is just weird, and obviously not right in the head. VESPERTINE Vespertine took me a while to figure out, but I actually ended up really admiring her. She goes through a lot but in the end she tries to do what she thinks is right, even putting herself in danger to do so, as long as she thinks it could help. It's hard not to admire that.
THE OTHER WALKING DEAD TOM I still love Tom. He's such a fun character, but he can be serious when he needs to be. He goes through some difficult things in this book, and yet he tries not to let them bother him too much. He really presses through even when things are tough to help Bram. COALHOUSE Coalhouse was an incredibly dynamic character. He took the sidelines in Dearly, Departed, but in this book her really takes the stage. He wants to get attention for something, to finally do the right thing, and to get praise for it. Yet he's lost and doesn't really know how to go about it. Watching his struggle is heartbreaking, but ultimately gives us an awesome insight into his character. RENFIELD I just love Ren, like so much. He's awesome and brilliant. He figures crazy and insane things out, and contributes some seriously valuable knowledge. He also just seems so amazing. He's another character who really grows in this novel, although honestly, they all do. But still. CHAS I missed Chas in this book, because we didn't really see her as much as we did before. Still, she's just as awesome in this book as she was in the last. She still makes me smile, and se's still totally badass. LAURA Laura is a new zombie who is introduced, who struggles with the new world that she's trying to fit into. Everything is thrown into chaos more than once for her, and yet she really manages to keep her head through it all. She's an essential and really awesome character who I without a doubt adored.
THE PLOT I admit that the plot was actually pretty slow-moving at first. It actually does take a while for it to get into the action. The first hundred pages or so do seem to move pretty slowly. However, I just couldn't bring myself to mind too much. I loved the was the development took its time. It made everything seem that much more genuine. No details were left unseen to. Everything fit into its proper place.
And once the action got started, it didn't stop. There was so much action that it was nearly impossible to believe so much action could be packed into so few pages. I literally couldn't put the book down. It was as if my life depended on knowing what happened next.
Really, I loved it. So much was happening, just like in the first book. And yet it was so different from the first book at the same time. The entire story it centered around was different. It was just as remarkably original as the first and so unique that it has its own claim to fame.
It had everything I look for in a novel. Romance. Action. Mystery. It's all set in an incredible dystopian world that I completely love. I know I keep saying this, but it's just so…awesomely unique, like I'll never get enough of it. I just love it. I love it so much.
So, to sum it all up? Plot=awesome. And that's really all there is to it.
THE ROMANCE The romance in this book absolutely thrilled me, too. It doesn't dominate the novel, and yet it's an important and central part of it all the same. Nora and Bram are perfect together, and yet they have their share of hardships to overcome, too. The romance is sweet, the type that you can't help but smile at. Sparks definitely go flying. I am totally and most definitely a fan of Nora and Bram's relationship! It really feels genuine and nothing like instalove.
THE WRITING Lia has gorgeous writing. I love the way she uses multiple POVs. In this book, we get Nora, Bram, Laura, Vespertine, and Michael. It's totally perfect. It's really great because we get to see into the heads of some many different people. Yet she never gives so much away that the fun and tension is taken away. Getting into everyone's head is incredible. Everything about the world-building is incredible and just continues to grow and grow. I love the dialogue, too—it just shimmers. The banter between certain characters is awesome, too.
THE ENDING The ending was just perfect and sweet and so, so lovely. There's hardly any cliffhanger at all, which of course I loved! There are hints that there might be another book, and I fervently hope there is. Yet this book left me so satisfied that I could be happy with this ending. It made me so ridiculously happy. It's certainly wonderful. The ending is spectacular! I'm really obsessing a lot over the ending, but seriously, it is that good.
WRAPUP Of course I'll be reading Lia's books in the future! With two awesome zombie novels out there, I do hope she writes more. However, I am confident that I'll enjoy whatever she writes in the future. I give a glowing recommendation to this series! The Gone With the Respiration books are honestly some of my favorite ever, and I'm absolutely thrilled for more!
I really loved this book! I loved the easygoing romance that didn't dominate too much of the story and there was definitely a happy surprise at the enI really loved this book! I loved the easygoing romance that didn't dominate too much of the story and there was definitely a happy surprise at the ending. The plot is just original enough but still connects enough to the original fairytale. It's a definite worthwhile read!...more
I was simply thrilled when Poppy got her own book! It was fresh and new, and I loved the fairytale take. The plot was amazing, and the characters wereI was simply thrilled when Poppy got her own book! It was fresh and new, and I loved the fairytale take. The plot was amazing, and the characters were developed through different sets of eyes. I would absolutely love it if more books like this were released by Jessica Day George. They're simply brilliant, and I love the plots AND the characters! And the romance is nice, too, because it's understated and subtle....more
CATCHALL I completely fell in love with Timeless. The Transcend Time series has been fabulous so far, with marvelou*****FINAL RATING: 4.75 STARS*****
CATCHALL I completely fell in love with Timeless. The Transcend Time series has been fabulous so far, with marvelous characters and intriguing plots. I love the way it's all done, and I can honestly, truly say that this was the perfect ending. Like, the most absolute perfect ending. It kind of made my life a little bit. I was extremely pleased with the way this turned out and I would gladly read this series again. In fact, I will read it again. It's reread worthy for sure.
THE HEROINE ELIZABETH DAVENPORT Lizzie is a marvelous heroine. She's very strong, and she really has to put up with a lot through the whole series, but especially in this book. Something awful has been done to her and she now faces omens of death and danger. Just when she'd found happiness, it's ripped away. But she doesn't crawl into a corner and feel sorry for herself. No, Lizzie steps up and finds out what needs to be done to fix this. And she'll do it, at any cost, because it's that important. I really admire her strength and bravery there, and I also like that that hard choices are, yes, hard for her, but she still does what needs to be done.
THE LOVE INTEREST ANDREW CARMICHAEL For whatever reason, I tend to have this thing for guys named Andrew (Like every Andrew I've ever met. And Andrew Garfield, oh my.) so I kind of really wish that he went by that name. But he doesn't. He goes by Drew. Okay, fine then. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but it bothers me! And no, I didn't lower the rating or anything because of that. Just needed to get it off my chest. Drew is so damn lovable. I mean, he just is. He's a total gentleman, which is amazing. He treats Lizzie like a queen while also treating her as an independent woman. He's strong and protective without being smothering. Basically, he's perfect. But he can pull off the perfect somehow without seeming unrealistic.
THE FORMER BEST FRIEND TURNED ALLY CHELSEA GIVENS Chelsea isn't really friends with Lizzie anymore. I still don't really like Chelsea. I think she was being selfish and kind of a brat. Still, I don't completely hate her, not really. And once she realizes her mistake and how awful it was, she is willing to help Lizzie do whatever she needs to do to fix it. She can admit that she was wrong, and that's got to be really hard for her. I also think that although the way she lashed out was awful, she's slowly starting to get back to her old self.
THE PLOT So, the plot was excellent. Just when I think I know what to expect, Michelle throws me a curveball. Think that's the expression. I'm thinking, positive, that one thing is going to happen, and then it doesn't. She always surprises me, and I mean that in the best way possible. I love not knowing what to expect. I actually kind of love being wrong because it makes the surprises that much more shocking.
There actually is some intense mystery and suspense in this book, although I won't tell you what it is. It's a surprise! But seriously, it's so good. I never saw it coming. And as to the solution, well, I had my suspicions. Turns out I really wasn't entirely correct, but I also wasn't entirely wrong. It was a sweet combination.
I mean, the whole witchcraft thing that Michelle introduced in the last book is tricky. You don't want to overuse that single plot device, but completely forgetting about it isn't great either. And Michelle achieves that balance. She really does. The magic is once again back, but not in the same way, and not too little and not too much. I don't know how she does it, but she did.
Let's just say that this was intense. Super intense. Like, totally threw me off for a second there intense! I kept up, but it was not an easy task. At the same time, I wasn't confused.
One problem I do have is the pacing was a bit weird. It felt rushed in some parts while others dragged on and on, and that was actually also kind of confusing. I never got completely lost but it did daze me a bit and not in the good way.
But, overall, yes, I loved this. Because, hello, it was spectacular. And marvelous. And probably even a little bit daring, which it just what makes it stand out so much.
THE ROMANCE I think that Lizzie and Drew literally have one of the best romances of all time. Michelle has never attempted to use their reincarnation as a crutch for instalove, and she continues to build on their romance here. They have sparks that practically shoot off the page. I especially love the way Drew treats Lizzie. He cares deeply for her, and that just really, really comes through and is so clear. I also adore the way they're considerate of Chelsea, who was never considerate of them!
THE WRITING Michelle's writing has always been lovely, but it has also improved so much over the series. She's even experimented with different voices. In Timeless, we're back to Lizzie's voice. Lizzie isn't the same girl from Remembrance, and her voice definitely reflects that. Also, Michelle's dialogue has become so much more fleshed out and really detailed. I also love her use of colloquial language. It really helps to make the book more accessible, honestly. And I adore all the descriptions. I can really picture everything perfectly.
THE ENDING The ending was very romantic and sweet, and honestly perfect. It did veer towards maybe a little bit too perfect, but I think of this book as something of a modern fairy tale, so it's totally acceptable. I love the way it ends on such a lovely note; there's no openness at all, no cliffhanger. Obviously there's some sort of future, but clearly it's going to be a happy one and really, that's all I need to know. I was 100% satisfied.
WRAPUP As a whole, like I said at the beginning of my review, Timeless was truly the perfect conclusion to the Transcend Time Saga. Reading it made my day, and it left me only with feelings of happiness! I loved this entire series, and I'm definitely going to be checking out Michelle's future works. And yes, I totally recommend this! If you're already a fan be sure to pick up this last book and if you haven't read these books yet, go ahead and get started!
Once again, Frewin Jones has spun a tale worth reading with Branwen and her friends. The pacing was wonderful and the writing style easily captured myOnce again, Frewin Jones has spun a tale worth reading with Branwen and her friends. The pacing was wonderful and the writing style easily captured my imagination.
However, I was disappointed that there was such little romantic development. I expected a little more, as is implied. While there were definitely more-than-friendly feelings, even a few specific sections, Jones fails to develop this as much as I had hoped for.
Rhodri remains a good, steadfast friend through everything, and it's quite hard to not fall in love with him. Iwan continues to be the hot yet irritating character. Blodwedd's character develops beautifully, as do all of Jones' characters.
This was really a very well-written story, and I find myself looking forward to the sequel....more
I don't normally review children's books, and if I do, they are usually just little blurbs. I received an ARC of thi*****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****
I don't normally review children's books, and if I do, they are usually just little blurbs. I received an ARC of this book, expecting a fun, cutesy read. But this book was so good that it deserves an official AMV review, if I do say so myself. So here it it is, it all its gorgeous glory.
CATCHALL That is one heck of a mouthful of a title, isn't it?! I must have typed it at least ten times. (Yes, darlings, I know about copy-and-paste. I'm just extremely forgetful.) But I don't even care, because it is totally worth it. I thought at first that the title was too long, and, well, I still kind of think that, but it definitely fits. Overall, TGWCFIASOHOM (which will be my abbreviation from now on for the obvious) was an amazing book. I loved pretty much every bit of it. One I really got into it, I couldn't bear to put it down for even a moment.
THE HEROINE I love September. She's so determined and strong. She can be a bit polarizing, but then, we all have our faults. She was a genuine heroine whom I felt I could relate to. She had a nice dose of attitude but not so much that she distanced herself from the reader. She was cute in all the right ways. She had her weaknesses, but as melodramatic as this sounds, she truly emerged from them stronger than ever. I absolutely adored her. She was sensible and young, and very refreshing.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS A-THROUGH-L A-Through-L is a wyvery, or something like that. I can't remember exactly how to spell it, and anyway, it's not that important. The author explains him beautifully. I won't explain his name, because I would totally botch it and leave you absolutely confused. Ell, as he is called, is such a loyal, good friend. I liked him immensely. He even offered a few laughs from time to time, which was refreshing. SATURDAY Oh, darling, dear Saturday. He was so sweet. He kind of annoyed me at times, because he was so passive, but I came to understand him better and thought him quite delightful. He provided a steady rock for September, and hints of a future romance between them are planted. He's also a Marid. I mean, you can look that up in the dictionary if you have no clue what that is, but Valente explains it so beautifully that if you're going to read TGWCFIASOHOM it's really unnecessary. THE MARQUESS Major plot twist that I never saw coming. Way to go, Valente! The Marquess was a multi-dimensional character with many faces. She was intriguing and childish, but not overly difficult to understand, in the end. THE GREEN WIND He's a pretty minor character, but I liked him. He was sweet and fatherly. He was helpful and clever, too. Definitely a wonderful character, all things considered. HELLO, GOODBYE, AND MANYTHANKS Believe it or not, these are three witches. They were hilarious. To me, anyway. I'm not sure they were meant to be.
THE PLOT Oh, man, Valente knows how to write a good story. Her plot is beautiful. I was never, not for a minute, bored. One or two things I expected, but she mostly managed to keep me on my toes. So many things I never would have seen, and yet when they happened they made the most sense in the world. It was clever and not dull. The story lit up the pages and honestly, just made me really happy. It was entertaining, fun, and cute, which is everything I look for in a children's book.
THE ROMANCE Okay, so there's not exactly real romance in this book, considering our heroine is only twelve. But there are many hints at a future romance. One of the cutest of these hints and my absolute favorite part of the book comes at the end of the second-to-last chapter. It's absolutely adorable and so sweet. (If you're thinking of skipping ahead to read it, don't. I promise you, it will make no sense to you anyway.)
THE WRITING I actually didn't like this writing at first. I was convinced it had given me a headache, and put this book aside for over a month. Well, apparently I just happened to have a headache that day, because this writing is amazing. Valente's narrator POV is written beautifully and is absolutely lovely. I love the way she places in her own words in at some points, something that would ordinarily annoy me but works here. It's gorgeous and descriptive, and I love, love, love. (Oh, and I also adore the chapter titles.)
THE ILLUSTRATIONS The illustrations in TGWCFIASOHOM are absolutely marvelous. They're quite beautiful and I spent a lot of time just admiring them. They really contribute to the story and help to provide some visuals for the story that is taking place.
THE ENDING OH. MY GOD. The ending was incredible. I could never have seen it coming. I knew part of it, of course, but the rest of it was completely unexpected. Valente surprised and satisfied me at once. It was probably the best way she could have ended it.
SO SO SOOOO freaking cute, you guys. If I have time I'll write up a mini-review sort of thing or something. Anyway, highly recommended to pretty muchSO SO SOOOO freaking cute, you guys. If I have time I'll write up a mini-review sort of thing or something. Anyway, highly recommended to pretty much everyone....more
Another unusual occurrence in that I normally do not review children's books. But this book should have one, so here*****FINAL RATING: 4.70 STARS*****
Another unusual occurrence in that I normally do not review children's books. But this book should have one, so here it is!
CATCHALL If I liked Ivy's Ever After well enough, I fell head over heels in love with Ivy and the Meanstalk. It was fun, and so, so cute. I read the whole of it in one sitting because I couldn't her to put it down for even a moment. It should definitely be more popular than it is.
THE HEROINE I really like Ivy. She's funny and adorable. She's strong and has a bold determination that's admirable. She doesn't back down from a challenge and somehow manages to get past even the slimmest odds. Ivy does what she needs to get done with no fuss. She's one of the best princess characters I've ever read about.
THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS OWEN He was cute and sweet, and not an annoying pansy. I genuinely enjoyed reading about him and thought he was a fun addition to this book. In Ever After he's a fairly minor character and very shy, but in Meanstalk he really comes out of his shell. He plays a significant role in the story and is entertaining without subtracting too much attention from our heroine, and yet, still remains probably my favorite character excepting Ivy. ELDRIDGE I adore Eldridge. He's hilarious, and educational besides. Ever After impressed me with a fe facts I didn't know, and Meanstalk does this as well. Eldridge doesn't only supply information, though--he's a fun character with a great sense of humor. He's fantastic and I love the take Lairamore has on dragons. ONE-OH-THREE Explaining this unusual name would probably require minor spoilers and also take a long time. So, I will skip the explaining part. One-oh-three is a fun, cute character. He's a typical shy boy, sheltered from the world but longing to see it. He takes an interest in Ivy as the foreign princess, and they become fast friends and complete a quest or two together. They each help each other and take risks in a true show of friendship. DRUSILLA I still don't really like her. She's kind of annoying. She struck me as really selfish and completely ignorant of the world around her. I feel like she's self-absorbed and while Ivy loves her, I do not. I don't exactly dislike her, I suppose, but I don't exactly like her, either. I'm on an okay note with her, because I do understand part of why she acted the way she did. BOGGS He seemed sweet in this book. He constantly cared for Drusilla, even when she was at her most annoying, which is something that is impossible not to admire. He was caring and loyal. TOADSTOOL Toadstool is such a whiny little goat. (She's actually a goat, I'm not just calling her one.) Why Drusilla would care for her so much is beyond me, but maybe it's true that people who are alike get along well together. (Okay, that was kind of mean. I admit it. But they're fictional characters.) She was less annoying than in Ever After, but that's probably because she appears less.
THE PLOT WIN. This plot was fun and entertaining. I loved the whole concept and the cleverness of everything. Each plot point was significant and there as never a dull moment. Every moment, there was some sort of suspense or action, making it un-put-down-able. The entire idea of the story was written out beautifully. It was obviously well-thouht-out and marvelously executed.
THE ROMANCE Ever After had tiny little hints of romance, but Meanstalk has a bit more. Owen insists on accompanying Ivy on her journey, which is very sweet and completely adorable. There's definitely chemistry, but it's not too heavy for a children's book and kept very clean. The interaction between Ivy and Owen is sweet and believable. The romance between them doesn't grow all at once but is allowed time to develop and breathe.
THE WRITING Lairamore has such a lyrical voice. Her writing flows from page to page effortlessly. Her descriptions are lively and vivid, and I can often picture her imagery clearly in my mind. Her dialogue has improved from Ever After, and although it was never awful, it is much better now. Also, each scene in this book connected somehow to the rest of the story and the main plot, while in Ever After I felt the scenes were too scattered and that some were pointless. Her writing her improved and it fun and wonderful to read.
THE ENDING The ending was very, very cute. I was practically squealing because it was so adorable. I felt that everything had been resolved prettily and the romance involved was extremely pleasing to me. I felt that the ending was practically perfect in every way.
WRAPUP While I had a few minor issues with this book, it did not retract from my overall enjoyment. I have officially become a Dawn Lairamore fan and am keeping my fingers crossed for another Ivy book. I really, really like these characters and the whole world of it, really.