The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney is probably one of my favorite books. I'm not quite what sure what makes it so but I can give a few examples. The pThe Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney is probably one of my favorite books. I'm not quite what sure what makes it so but I can give a few examples. The plot is very intriguing, first of all. Suzanne Harper takes Sparrow Delaney, a girl who has the most eccentric family of mediums you can imagine. She wants to find a place to start over, a place where no one knows about her crazed life at home. She gets that at a new school but enter Luke, a ghost who is determined to get Sparrow's attention and won't stop until he does.
The humor in this novel was absolutely beautiful. The writing is a true account of what can possibly go on inside a teenager's head when she's got so much on her plate. Kudos to Suzanne Harper!...more
I absolutely adore -- flat out love, have a total obsession and admiration for -- hero stories. I love what they embody: the underdog, the average Joe fighting against a terrible evil, standing up against oppression and tyranny. It's such an ancient kind of story, and yet it's one that is modeled over and over again, and loved over and over again, because it's a tale that, no matter the circumstances, appeals to our humanity. It quickens the breath, stimulates the heart, rouses the emotions. If I have a go-to story, it's a hero's journey.
The Lightning Thief is the perfect kind of hero's journey to quench my thirst. It features a young but spirited main character, Percy, who, for Gods' sake, just wants a normal life. And yet, he's constantly getting into trouble: being thrown around every public and private school in Manhattan, leaving mysterious happenings in his wake. But he doesn't know how that stuff happens. He just wants to be a normal kid. If it was hard being normal before, try finding out you're the son of a god.
So here we have the prime candidate for a hero, now he just needs to be outfitted with a few things: two best friends for starters, a super smart (if slightly annoying) daughter of Athena and a nervous (if well meaning) guy who happens to be hiding goat hooves in his sneakers. But you can't just have a golden trio and not give them a place to call home. The answer to that: Camp Half-Blood, a place for people like Percy to not just be safe from the dangers of the outside world, but to thrive by learning how to harness their powers. Of course, that's if you know which god happened to pass along those "powers." Being claimed by your godly parent is great, unless it marks you as the most powerful demigod to exist.
If you do happen to be the most powerful demigod to exist, unfortunately that doesn't mean you get to kick your feet up on the beach with a colorful, umbrella-type drink. It means you're probably going on a quest, which you may not return from. This quest will contain all kinds of magical and otherworldly obstacles: an ancient lady with snakes for hair, a chihuahua that breathes fire and asks questions later, and maybe a god of war or two. There is no cashing in accumulated vacation time when you're a demigod out to stop an evil force more powerful than the gods themselves.
Percy's story begins with The Lightning Thief, which launches him on a epic journey that will test his resolve, his instincts, and his strength. Luckily, he isn't alone while he's off to battle evil. And while some of those newfound friends may really be enemies in disguise, he has finally found a place where he can be himself.
The Lightning Thief is my answer to the perfect hero's journey: massively entertaining, inspiring, and enjoyable, it is a story for all ages and one that I would recommend to anyone over and over again....more
So I can tell it’s Cinda Williams Chima’s debut novel. I still loved it. This was published in 2006 and in the years since (having read her latest works The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) I can see the growth in her work. Comparing The Warrior Heir with say, The Exiled Queen, I can see how she’s settled into a certain style, but she still retains her signature humor, elegant prose, and talent for telling a really good story.
As always, I love some good old fashioned humor. I love authors like Cinda Williams Chima who have an incredible talent for comic timing. She’s really clever, I think.
"Well now, Jack," Hastings said from the sidelines. "I'm afraid you've been beheaded. Not a good start."
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 191
There was a mixed bag: there was beautiful prose and ingenious plot twists, but then again some of her characters came off as flat and cliché.
When I say ingenious plot twists, I wish I could cite the one I’m talking about, but then again, I am entirely dedicated to my Spoiler Free blogger status. But let me just say this: I loved how it caught me ever so slightly off guard, but I was still triumphant that I’d caught it when, finally, the twist was revealed and I was right. I love stories that make my parents yell at me from downstairs to be quiet. (Yeah, I’m pretty loud when I really get into a book.)
I really enjoyed the characters—especially Jack and Hastings and Ellen—and the world that Cinda Williams Chima put together here. Is it just me, or did she build her Seven Realms books (The Demon King and The Exiled Queen) off of this series? I thought I recognized some familiar markers from this book and it kind of had me thinking.
While Jack was a fun character, some of the others weren’t as fully-fleshed as I’d prefer. Like his best friends, Fitch and Will. For one thing, (maybe I was just being dense or wasn’t paying attention) but it took me a little while to work out that Fitch was also one of Jack’s best friends. He came off more as a “circumstantial” best friend—one of those bonds you develop after going through a tough situation.
Another one of the plot points that fell through for me was the whole deal with Leesha in the beginning. (But that’s all I’ll say on the issue—can’t say much more without being spoiler-y.)
There was one other thing I was kind of confused about: the point of view. It was mostly Jack’s, but it did switch between characters a few times, but I had a hard time sometimes distinguishing who was the narrator between scenes. That was just a minor thing, though.
Cinda Williams Chima’s started off well in regards to her plot: everything came together nicely and there wasn’t any unnecessary loose ends. (Remember this is a series.) And it was all glued together with her smooth writing style.
Overall, I can really see how Cinda Williams Chima developed the way she did. You should absolutely read this book if you’re like me and have only read her Seven Realms books so far.
"More and more, there were no revelations, but simply the uncovering of truths long known but dimly remembered. Everything had been written long ago. There was nothing truly new in the world, but only the slow, circular march of time that revealed the old things once again."
Wow. The Hunger Games. The first thing that comes to mind is that the main character, Katniss, is the ideal heroine except when it comes to romance ofWow. The Hunger Games. The first thing that comes to mind is that the main character, Katniss, is the ideal heroine except when it comes to romance of course. She can fight and she actually has something more than hot air between her ears--both characteristics sadly lacking in many, many urban fantasy novels. The Hunger Games is brilliantly original. It makes me wonder how Suzanne Collins's mind works.
I highly recommend this book for any who enjoyed Graceling by Kristen Cashore. (Anyone notice the slight familiarity between the two main characters names? Katniss and Katsa, Peeta and Po?)
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for hSo I'll just jump right into it, yeah?
I felt nothing for the characters. There was no depth. At least if I hate a character, that says something for how they were portrayed. Yet with this...there was nothing given to me. Nothing to round out their characters. Most of the time, I felt disdain for Aislinn's character because when she was supposed to come off as fierce, she just seemed fake. Like a child playing grown-up.
The writing style. Ah. The writing did nothing to credit this story. It felt more like a retelling, giving no credit to these character's personal feelings. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing. Very short, to the point, and shallow. It seems that the popularity for this book runs entirely off of the idea. I could not feel any passion from the writing. None at all.
The end lost me. The climax should be the best part of the story. I was reading and going, "What?" Things were not explained well enough and again, there was no passion. It moved too fast. I felt no shock at the turn of events. I couldn't really bring myself to care what happened to the characters. When Aislinn gripped the staff, the outcome was poorly described. I was thinking, "So what?"
I suppose I will check out the sequel because for better or for worse, I am curious to know what will happen next. Though I am sorely tempted to drop the series. The epilogue really did it in. I was less than ten pages from the end and just wanted it to be over with. How the relationships turned out? Not at all to my liking and I cannot even summon the passion to drive that point home. That's how little I really got from the characters.
The summary really builds this story up and it doesn't deliver. I remember viewing this book as promising when I read the description. I love the cover, though. I love all of the covers. I doubt I'll ever buy this series (if I do, it'll be all in paperback because I am not spending all the money to purchase a hardcover edition). I prefer the Wondrous Strange series by Lesley Livingston or The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones. The writing was much better in those two series--the passion clearly coming through.
WARNING: To younger and/or more sensitive readers--there is mild language in this book, including the F-bomb being dropped a few times. It is not, however, as thick and extensive as Holly Black's "Valiant".
I do have a song that would go well with this book, though: "What Would It Be Like" by Lindsay Aline (she has a BEAUTIFUL voice). In describing Aislinn's despair and all that jazz.
The Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it butThe Host may not be my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the most respected books I've read. It took me a little while to get into it but once I did, I was thinking about it all the time and I couldn't wait to continue reading it.
What I've always liked about Stephenie Meyer is her ability to be unique and original. She revolutionized vampires with her Twilight books and now, she's explored the deeper meaning of what it's like to be human.
What I don't understand is why this book is classified for adults. It's perfectly suitable for younger audiences. True to custom, Miss Meyer does not use heavy or excessive swear words. In fact, I can--barely--recall only one instance where a swear word was used. I applaud her ability to have a clean and appropriate sense for writing. She is a completely trustworthy author in a community where swearing and erotica in young adults books has become the thing.
The ending annoyed me to no end, but overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Usually, I think there’s an air of animosity towards a book that you are forced to read, but I found The Graveyard Book engaging, funny, heart-wrenching, and fraught with a misspent childhood and frightening imagination. This is my first Neil Gaiman novel. I will probably not pick up another book of his. I do not go for the nightmare-in-a-bottle kind of book.
Nobody Owens—or Bod, as he is affectionately called by the Graveyard inhabitants—was a great character. Like Harry Potter, he grows up far from the norm and doesn’t know much about the Other World, the one that lies outside the graveyard gates. He was honest, passionate and curious and totally awesome. I loved watching him grow through the book, but I wish the whole story had been him as a teenager. While I can imagine an eight-year-old clambering around under hills and through graves, my preference is for the teen story. So I loved how the book ended with him being a bit older.
This was a very character-appreciative book for me. The story didn’t make a lot of sense, and I couldn’t see much of a plot. This whole “prophecy”-like situation surrounding him wasn’t told very well. I think if Gaiman had focused entirely on the characters and left out any kind of plot-driven devices, the book would have been much more enjoyable. I realize it received the highest award for Children’s literature, but personally, I think it was written by an average writer and was a relatively average story.
Overall, Bod really made the book for me. That kid was awesome, and I loved his character to death (no pun intended). Y’all should pick it up just to say you did. You might realize just how much you love it....more
I only got about a hundred pages in. It's not because of the writing or the story but the swearing did me in. I couldn't read it anymore. I hate all tI only got about a hundred pages in. It's not because of the writing or the story but the swearing did me in. I couldn't read it anymore. I hate all the swearing Holly Black used in this book. There was more than called for in "Tithe" but it wasn't so frequent as in this book. So I just had to say no.
The first pages--minus the extensive cussing--are pretty good, story wise. Good progression, good action. Pretty decent characters. Worth a look if you don't mind swearing....more
BAD: City of Bones, while outrageously funny, did not provide me with any sense of girl-empowerment. The main character, Clary, while possessing more oBAD: City of Bones, while outrageously funny, did not provide me with any sense of girl-empowerment. The main character, Clary, while possessing more of a smart mouth than Bella from the Twilight books, is just as much the damsel in distress. I noticed how she did just enough screaming in this book to annoy me.
There's also the HIGHLY TYPICAL best-friend-love complex. You've got a boy and girl who are best friends and it's where the guy is OBVIOUSLY in love with the girl and the girl is, of course, oblivious to this until everything blows over and she gets it thrown it into her face.
GOOD: This is a very funny book. I didn't notice anything off about the language--teenage slang-wise. The plot is unique enough. Oh! And it's a pretty good mystery with one plot twist that actually had me thrown--which does NOT happen often. Most of it was predictable but I'd read it just for that plot twist, 'cause it's really good.
The author starts it off interesting--enough to draw in the reader. But there's this whole bad-boy alluring thing going on, which is very predictable within itself when you thrown in the best guy friend and the amount of hormones that fly around during the ensuing fiasco.
Overall, I'd say give it a chance and get it out at the library. I stayed up REAL LATE reading this and I LOVE good long books. ...more
This book takes on a whole new meaning of "All the world's a stage". Fascinating and creative, I'm shocked this book hasn't garnered more attention. Think of a theater acting like a magical world all its own. Think of just the main character, who dies her hair Cobalt blue, exchanges swears with a pirate, and resists the urges of an air spirit while trying to save the world which she knows.
All enchanting stuff. Yet when I first started out (over a year ago), I wasn't very enchanted. I'd tried a couple times to start it and stopped reading it. This time, however, I wanted to read more. I was suddenly fascinated by what would happen to Bertie and I wanted to know more about the world of the Theatre. So I started where I'd left off before, about seventy pages in, and had a hard time putting it down!
Bertie's character was fantastic. The idea of an orphaned girl living in a magical theatre world could have really come off as childish and very middle grade, but Bertie's smart mouth and her romantic interests kept it on a YA level. Bertie was a classy girl and I loved her character. Though I hardly understand her taste for seductive air spirits. I'm going for Nate all the way.
The one thing I didn't get was the Theatre's place in time. Maybe it was mentioned and it went over my head, but the mention of limousines makes me think very modern. Also, I wasn't quite sure if the outside world knew that the Theatre was magical. Other than those two things, however, the story was wonderful.
It was a very enjoyable story—I can't wait to pick up the sequel, even though love triangles are the bane of my existence! I fell in love with the world, the excellent characters, and Bertie's story.
Just one thing about the covers though: I freaking love them. I want these made into posters so I can hang them on my wall. For real. BUT! They only feature THREE fairies! What the fudge? There are clearly FOUR. And this series oversight continues on EACH FLIPPING COVER. So all of them are fantastic, except for that grievous mistake. Jeepers....more
Okay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes meOkay. I have to get this out so I can feel better.
Shiver. Best freaking urban fantasy book ever.
Does it top Twilight? Hell yeah.
What truly strikes me about this book is the main character: Grace. She isn't weepy and pathetic or weak like Bella. She's strong and she's FUNNY! This book seems like it truly could be real. The characters are realistic and I can relate to many of Grace's ways of thinking. (How many times that happens? Almost never.)
I recommend this to the many, many fans of Twilight because it's a romance to kill for. It's stronger, in my opinion, than the romance of Twilight between Bella and Edward. The bond between Grace and Sam is deeper and the sparks between them much, MUCH more believable!
I also recommend this to the many, many non-fans of Twilight. Grace is funny and interesting and strong and far from the pathetic, wimpy, predictable Bella. Sam is a typical special teen boy. His story and reactions ring true. He's not the infuriating we-can't-be-together-because-I'm-dangerous type. In fact, he doesn't say anything along those lines. Does he do anything to protect Grace? Of course he does. He's hopelessly in love with her.
Onto more technical praises: I love how this story alternates between Grace and Sam. I simply LOVE that.
I read this book in less than twenty-four hours. I haven't gotten a book this good in a long, long time. It's a fantastic romance. I might even reread this. (Again, that feeling RARELY happens. It's a mark of just how much I like a book that I want to reread it.)
Another thing. I would LOVE to have a fifteen-minute conversation with this author. She appears to be a really fun person.
This is a great break from vampires. GO WEREWOLVES!...more
Alright, so I know ya'll are starting to get sick of me say "Oh God this book was GOOD!" Ya'll are probably thinking I'm trippin'. But I'm as surprised as you are minus the complaints cause I'm on such a good-book streak...which just ended with this book, cause you know how once you read a good book, it's hard to read another book if it doesn't equal in awesomeness? Yeah, I got that. In spades. I didn't even bring a book with me to school today cause I was looking at my stack of books from the library going, "Oh yeah right. And you say I'm trippin'."
This was awesome, though. Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors and writers (notice how I say both. No, they are NOT the same thing. You can like an author and despise their writing--sometimes--but Maggie Stiefvater's just awesome all around--check out her song "The Golden Wood"...absolutely wonderful.) Now lemme tell you just why I thought it was awesome.
So yeah, it's another faerie story. I can see you now--"Oh GOD not ANOTHER one!" Yeah, I know. All the faerie stuff is crazy. It's getting almost as bad as the vampires. This one, while not absolutely dazzling and breath-taking like Maggie Stiefvater's "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series, still shows the amazing potential. If I'd followed Maggie Stiefvater from her debut, I would have commented on how much potential the book showed. (Even though it was riddled with grammar mistakes! Jeepers!)
It was a great romance. A little too fluffy and insubstantial in some places, it followed the flash romance course rather than building up trust and sparks over time. But it was the way Maggie Stiefvater presented it that caught my interest. First of all, she makes the hero weird. (THANK YOU!) Luke was a crazy son of a gun--very clever and witty, he had quirks that just made him feel natural and all the more appealing. (This, I believe, is a trait that I will identify immediately with Maggie Stiefvater. Her heroes are not earth-shatteringly beautiful and perfect. She gives them tortured souls and gives them a laundry list of character defects.)
A little note about Dee: Normally, I'd have given up on the book just because of the wimpy, Jello-kneed girl who fainted a lot and never stood up to people. But...gah! There was something about Dee that made it different. Sure, she fainted and got weak-kneed a lot, but I wouldn't call her wimpy. She was sharp and had a wonderful sense of humor. I actually really liked her, even if she won't ever classify as a favorite.
I loved the background info. I've been fascinated by all kinds of mythology (particularly Greek and Celtic) and I liked the little tidbits I got throughout the book. There were a few loose threads (which I guess there should be) that weren't tied off by the end but then again, there's a sequel. (WOOT!)
I love Maggie Stiefvater's sense of humor. Her conversations seem so real because they give the possibility of being crazy and random--just like we all are as teenagers. The conversations aren't forced and above all, they're freaking hilarious. ^_^
If you liked "Shiver," you'll enjoy Maggie Stiefvater's previous work....more
Maggie Stiefvater’s work has always been my outlet. Her gritty plots and edgy characters wrapped in humor make hers the books I go to when I need a good laugh to get some perspective back on life. Her ability to write great, believable romances is also a factor, which is why I love her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Having witnessed her tackling werewolves, it was fascinating to see her take on faeries, her debut topic.
Let’s start with my favorite subject in relation to Maggie Stiefvater: humor. Cause everyone who has ever read any of my reviews knows that I love to laugh. And I love books that make me laugh almost out of default. I managed to snag some of my favorite quotes from the book before I had to return it to the library. These stand merely as representatives to Maggie Stiefvater’s signature humor.
“Yes,” Sullivan said, standing up with his mostly empty bowl of rabbit food. “You’re fulfilling my ‘helping students who remind me of myself when I was young and stupid’ quota…Oh, and unless you need it to feel comfortable, you can leave your ego in your room; you won’t be needing it.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 56
It’s quotes like that that make me think that Maggie Stiefvater was monstrous when provoked in college.
I stopped stroking his hair and smacked his head instead, becoming visible so fast that my head pounded. “Wake up, maggot.”
James winced under my hand. Without opening his eyes, he said, “Nuala.”
I glared at him. “Otherwise known as the only female who will ever be in your bed, loser.”
He flopped his hands over his face. “God have mercy, my head feels like hell. Kill me now, evil creature, and put me out of my misery.”
I pressed a finger against his windpipe, just hard enough that he’d have to ask me for a hall pass to be able to swallow. “Don’t tempt me.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 104
Nuala slapped me, raising goose bumps. “Shut up!”
I covered my face with an arm and kept laughing. “God, woman, how’d you come up with that name? It sounds like a drunk guy asking if someone’s got leprosy.”
Nuala slapped my arm again. “Shut up. It’s distinctive. People would remember it. You know, they’d be, ‘Oh, Izzy Leopard did this film.’ ‘Oh yeah?’ ‘She’s brilliant.’”
”And a leper.”
Nuala’s expression was fierce. “I could kill you.”
”Oh, if I had a dime for every time someone’s told me that. Oh, if I had a dime for every time you’ve told me that.”
She took the popcorn bucket from me and set it on the seat on the other side of her. “I can’t believe I gave you popcorn. I should make you drink popcorn butter for mocking my director name.”
I grinned at her. “Truly, a fate worse than death.”
Excerpted from the paperback edition, pg. 137
Long passages, yes, but if that doesn’t make you want to rush to the library/bookstore to get it, what will?
The largely enjoyable topic of humor aside, Maggie Stiefvater has a talent for romance. Usually, when you pick up a book, you know immediately who’s gonna go with who and, if the author is particularly green, then you know exactly how. Well, it states right in the synopsis that James has a specific interest in our faerie friend and considering how fierce Nuala is, we already know it has to be romantically explosive. Well, I’m not going to tell you if it was or wasn’t. All I will share on that subject is that it was satisfying.
James was a really awesome character, too, especially contrasted next to Nuala.
Another one of Maggie Stiefvater’s talents: raising the stakes. The choice James has to make at the end makes me want to start biting my fingernails (a habit I un-learned when I was eight.) I was glued to my chair, about read to flip to the end to figure out what happens (but I didn’t.) I was thinking that there is no way James could get out of that without losing something—or someone.
The most distinctive thing that the book left with me is the sense of atmosphere and the character impressions. I returned this book to the library several weeks ago (yes, and I know I fail epically for having taken so long to write this review) but I always thought that a book’s quality lay with how much you remembered after the fact. For this book, it was the clear and concise atmosphere that I could practically picture myself in. And I remember the impressions that the characters gave me. That kind of ethereal feeling that I get from all characters.
If you liked Ms. Stiefvater’s previous work Lament and haven’t gotten to this one yet, you should get to it! And if you haven’t picked up her faerie books, but loved her Wolves of Mercy Falls series, you should get to that too.
And also let it be known that this marks my 100th review. That is all....more