Story: First of all I have to say that the idea to use a giraffe that wants to fly as a way to teach children about "dreams" is just wonderful. For gi...moreStory: First of all I have to say that the idea to use a giraffe that wants to fly as a way to teach children about "dreams" is just wonderful. For giraffes have the ability too see high in the sky and I can see a giraffe maybe actually wanting to fly. As far as the writing goes it's just really great. It's a rhyming story so it rolls right off the tongue when you say it aloud. Being a parent and having to read the same story over and over again is a factor too and the way this is written feels much like a lullaby - soft and gentle. It's not something I would get sick of reading easily. My favourite part is when the giraffe takes all her animal friends on a ride in the sky and her neck gets sore. That is definitely something that parents can relate to and at the same time it's teaching children that dreams don't always come easily but even so it's great to share them with the people we love! At least...that's my interpretation of the story.
Art: The art is very sweet. It is done in watercolours and outlined in black ink. The colours sometimes bleed over the outlines and reminds me of something that a child would enjoy looking at, reminding them somewhat of their own colourings. Overall: This is a very sweet book that has a great message. Children need to know their dreams are possible and if a giraffe can make it's dreams come true - why not them? It is an entertaining story that could be read just for the story. It is also a story that provides lots of opportunity for the parent to pause with their child and reflect on the book's lessons. Overall, a good story that children will enjoy and parent will too.
This volume wasn't as fun as the first two in the series. I did enjoy many aspects of it though. For example, there is a time paradox which was well t...moreThis volume wasn't as fun as the first two in the series. I did enjoy many aspects of it though. For example, there is a time paradox which was well thought out and added a lot to the overall story. Things with the rebellion are very dormant (as the title suggests) so don't expect a lot of action. This one is more about stealth. I'm still in love with the character and world created in this series and can't wait to see where all of this is going.
A short story in verse, Say Not What If was crafted in an extremely compelling and insightful voice. Following a man who is misleadinly told by "the k...moreA short story in verse, Say Not What If was crafted in an extremely compelling and insightful voice. Following a man who is misleadinly told by "the keepers" that in order to get back his life he must take the life of another - and they want a child. Unfortunately he is caught after doing so and goes to jail where he awaits death row.
The whole story of this man reads like a train wreck that you just have to stop and see what happened and how big of a disaster it really is. The story moved quickly but at the same time a lot happened. The book explores many issues like death row, family, lost time, and regret, without losing it's edge. The most compelling scene in my eyes was when the judge must decide if the death penalty is an ethical choice. There are debates from both sides and both are considered fairly. It was dramatic and very well written.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It has been a while since I have read it and I still get excited every time I see it on my shelves. I hope to find someone to pass it on to or re-read it many times later on. My only complaint was that fifty pages of rhyming lines became too tiresome for me although I was amazed at Mr. Friedman's skill in that regard. I wished I could have slowed down and enjoyed it more but the story was a page-turner and I didn't want to stop.
How do you cram an original fantasy world, make the reader visualize the characters' surroundings, create complex characters, and plot intrigue into a...moreHow do you cram an original fantasy world, make the reader visualize the characters' surroundings, create complex characters, and plot intrigue into a 76 page book? If you want to find out, you'll have to read Two Moons of Sera because this is exactly what author Pavarti K. Tyler has managed to do.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Two Moons of Sera for it's month long blog tour this November. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but it sounded like a great story and couldn't pass up the opportunity to read it. I'm so glad I did. It reinforced that idea I had long ago forgotten - that fantasies don't have to rely on overly descriptive passages, chapters and chapters of history lessons, and the like. Instead they can be just as subtle and mellow in style as any contemporary book. They can easily be novellas. And more importantly, accessible to a wide variety of readers.
The tagline at the back of the book says "All the Fun of YA written for Adults". And yes, this book is fun. But I think it's strength lies more in the beauty of the people and the places that Tyler has created. Being the first in a series of novellas, the budding romance between Serafay and Torkok is just on the edge of reality, not really getting off the ground. It has great potential that makes me want the next one sooner rather than later. But I felt it needed to progress more within this installment to be really, quite fun.
This is a high fantasy series I'd be more interested in recommending to paranormal readers. Both the writing, the plot, and the romance seem to appeal more to that mindset of reading for me. And I have to admit, that made me a bit confused about it to start, but I believe Tyler has something quite original and possibly beautiful here. I am in love with this world and it's people.
What happens when Halloween is over and all the children are forced to put away their costumes? Scary stories dwindle. The candy is excellent, but the...moreWhat happens when Halloween is over and all the children are forced to put away their costumes? Scary stories dwindle. The candy is excellent, but they still want more? Laurie Ezpeleta has written a book for children that not only prepares them for Halloween's end but also gets them ready for Thanksgiving.
In A Witches' Thanksgiving: A Post Halloween Tale, a group of witches say good bye to their fun night of scaring children, tell us all about what they are thankful for, and prepare a most foul meal for their friends. The book is scary enough to please older children yet tame enough to be read to a younger audience. The pictures are really fun and although these are the ugly green, purple, and yellow witches with wobbly noses and eye patches the witches still have a friendly, happy feeling to them. They are grateful to be with friends and share in the magic of Thanksgiving. The thing I liked most about it was the message it sends to children beyond giving them a little post-Halloween fun. That even those who are different than us enjoy being included in the holidays. And even more so, that we all are thankful for different sorts of things and should feel free to celebrate that in any way we wish.
My one concern is that as a Canadian this book would be confusing to children - we have our Thanksgiving before Halloween, not after as Americans do. However, I found that it was just as fun to reflect on what could have been and remind my little girl about the Thanksgiving meal we already had.
The book was creative and fun and feel like children will really enjoy getting the chance to have Halloween flow into Thanksgiving, not having to push aside the costumes and scary monsters quite yet.
This ebook included both Crime Beat and the short story Do You Know Me Yet?
Thoughts on Crime Beat:
Crime Beat was a creative mystery thriller that kept...moreThis ebook included both Crime Beat and the short story Do You Know Me Yet?
Thoughts on Crime Beat:
Crime Beat was a creative mystery thriller that kept me guessing. This was a book I should have been able to guess the ending to, but was too dazzled by the writing, the twists, and the narrator's own mind to do so.
I found it to be a fascinating look at how newspapers operate and how those who run and work for them think. I did feel sorry for the narrator at the beginning feeling burnt out and the excitement of finding a new journalist that really pushed the newspaper into the spotlight. I had a harder time with the love interest of the story. There just wasn't any connection to her. Overall I liked Moretz the best. He seemed to be the most level-headed of the bunch despite being the prime suspect for the serial murders.
I loved the pace of the story. It kept a steady beat all the way through, which seems to be one of the key ingredients for keeping me turning those pages. I just wish there were a little more "Umph" to it during the beginning and middle, although the ending was fantastic.
Thoughts on the "Do You Know Me Yet?" short story:
I was surprised to find this short story tucked away at the end of the book. Certainly, it's easy to see why it would be included. It's a fun and thrilling look at a writer's paranoia. It made me stop and think about all the times I came up with an idea and low-and-behold someone else had already used it somewhere. If this story was the first piece of writing I had read of Scott Nicholson's, it would definitely have me intrigued enough to go looking for more.
Since the close of 2012, there have been a number of books published that deal with the end of times, mainly that prophecy based off the Mayan calenda...moreSince the close of 2012, there have been a number of books published that deal with the end of times, mainly that prophecy based off the Mayan calendar. This is one of them.
I have read three books in the past year whose plots are based off this prophecy. T. Anderson's version dealing with a conspiracy and the reincarnation of Stella Steinar, is so far the smartest, most down to earth approach. You wont find any shape-shifters or crazy disaster scenarios. There are no blow-em up, shoot em down scenes. If you're looking for that I'm sure there are plenty of books out there. This one however, deals with a group of people and the clandestine efforts they put into sorting out a conspiracy that puts all their lives on the table. Perhaps there are also a few crazy scientists. But, that's besides the point.
I enjoyed The Awakening of Stella Steinar and there were a few things that really stood out for me. For one, is the relationship between Stella and Aron, two twins who until they begin college and are roomed together have never met and didn't know about each other's existence. This relationship is really what grabbed me at the start of the book and made me keep reading. I connected with both of them and enjoyed watching them work together and figure out what was going on all while simultaneously trying to "throw off" the bad guy. It did bother me a little that they both got along almost immediately. I don't know how I'd react if I suddenly found out I had an identical twin. I do think though that their relationship was fun to watch and that was more important to me while reading the book.
The second aspect of the book that really worked for me was the reincarnation aspect and how that played into Stella's "awakening". What the group finds out at the end of the book was a twist I didn't see coming. Either the author really knew how to divert my attention from what was really going on or I am not as an ostute observer as I believed to be. Either way I thought it was pretty cool.
This book was really interesting and had a lot of things that might pull a reader in - the 2012 Mayan prophecy, religion and reincarnation, conspiracies, relationships. It's all there. This is the first book by T. Anderson and although I felt the author still has room for improvement with regards to writing style it was a good start and very well thought out plot with some interesting characters to throw in the mix.
What a quirky, fun, meaningful ride through outer space! Supposedly a cross between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Lewis Carol, with a...more3.5/5
What a quirky, fun, meaningful ride through outer space! Supposedly a cross between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Lewis Carol, with a touch of Gulliver's Travels. This book reminded me more of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery with a touch of The Hitchhiker's Guide. Well, to each his (or her) own experience.
The book is a short one but it really has a lot to offer. From Neville's escapades around the asteroid belt to his quest to save them all from the Earth's impending crash course off it's orbit and strait into the new homes the displaced have found for themselves. You have a whole cast of wacky characters and their obssession over certain things (toasters, bikes, celebrations) which make for deep reflections on society. Then you have the power of teamwork and all it can do for us.
I did find the story a bit cliche in the allegorical sense. This isn't something really fresh to me. But sometimes that's just what I need. And that doesn't mean it wouldn't be something completely new to someone else. I also felt like it was fun and quirky enough and the characters were different enough to make me want to keep reading and find something fresh in it. I loved the way the ending came together and the way Gould has written the story really perked my imagination. I could actually believe for a minute that a small group of people could let go of the world and find themselves their own peice of home in outerspace (no spacesuits required!).
Initially I thought this might be just another vampire story, formulaic and predictable. However, I was pleasently surprised. I was going to read it a...moreInitially I thought this might be just another vampire story, formulaic and predictable. However, I was pleasently surprised. I was going to read it anyways since I actually haven't read a vampire tale in a while. And then when I started reading the story was so different than other vampire books I have read. It deals with important issues and although romance plays a huge part in the plot, there is something that goes deeper than that.
One of the issues Tara Schuler has her characters go through is physical abuse by a parent. A very heavy topic. I can't speak for those who have been abused, but I did think that Tara did a beautiful job trying to convey the emotions and character of the one who went through this.
At the same time there is much that is exciting and adventurous about the story. I liked the different culture that the author created for the vampires. The book opens with Alice explaining who vampires are and how they set themselves apart from humans. Almost like they feel they are too good to be around people - their culture reaks of what could be seen as "high society" and sometimes snobbery. One of the things I liked about the backstory and is what intrigued me about it in the opening lines is the idea that vampires weren't created (as in bitten) but are born that way. They are almost like a separate race rather than anomalies.
I really enjoyed the story and plan on reading the next two books. There is still much to learn and see and the adventure continues. However, I give this book a lower rating than my love of the story would suggest. I did have some problems with the writing style - it seemed a bit strange at first and took a whlie to get into the flow of it and really just enjoy the story. I also found mistakes in a few places that seemed avoidable - almost as if spell check or auto-complete took over and added in the wrong words but they were completely missed in the editing. I just thought it needed another good eye to go through it. I hope that wont distract you from checking it out if you are interested though as I really think Tara Schuler has a great thing going with the plot, characters, and a fresh perspective on vampire lore.
This is the second book by L.B. Gwschwandtner I've read - the first being The Naked Gardener - an I am very happy to have the opportunity to have read...moreThis is the second book by L.B. Gwschwandtner I've read - the first being The Naked Gardener - an I am very happy to have the opportunity to have read both. Although both were fairly different from each other (and Foxy's Tale being co-written with author Karen Cantwell) both were very enjoyable in their own ways.
Foxy's Tale was both what I expected it to be and also what I didn't expect it to be. For example, the book is much more focused on the chick-lit genre than fantasy. For most of the story I was wondering if there even was going to be vampires. The hint kept coming and it was fun guessing what was going on there. At the same time I wish there was bigger appearances by the vampires and those aware of them. Foxy's story was cute and I enjoyed her converstations with Knot (pronounce the k!) as well as her open-heartedness to those around her. Most of all I enjoyed Amanda's story. "Amanda's Life in Hell" as her blog was titled was always a fun way to end a chapter and have me wanting more. Amanda's perceptiveness of what was going on all around her was also very refreshing as opposed to Foxy's who seemed clueless so much of the time. Amanda's character was a very convincing teen
The ending had a bit of a cliff-hanger but since I can already see myself reading book 2, Amanda's Dish, I had no problem with that.
Overall this was a cute, fun book and those who enjoy chick-lit will enjoy this refreshing tale with a touch of vampires thrown in.
I very much enjoyed John Green's take on boarding school, childhood friendships, family, tragedy, taking great leaps of faith, and teenage responsibil...moreI very much enjoyed John Green's take on boarding school, childhood friendships, family, tragedy, taking great leaps of faith, and teenage responsibility in his book Looking for Alaska. Miles was an incredible narrator with an interesting hobby - that of memorizing famous people's dying last words - which added a depth to the story that was just marvelous. The characters in this book all felt very realistic. In fact, when I started reading Looking for Alaska there was something that really bothered me about the characters until I realised what it was - these teens are so rough around the edges - but I knew more people in high school that represented John Green's "controversial" depiction of the teenage lifestyle than possibly any other book I've read. And that's why it bothered me. It was maybe too realistic for me at first. I got to used it. And then I kind of dug it.
This is the kind of book that you can't say much about in a review without spoiling it for others. Let's just say, you have to experience this book for yourselves. I had expected something much more quirkier or fun since my previous experience with John Green had been limited to Paper Towns (a thoughtful and yet still upbeat story), This one was not that. Instead of being the kind of book you read to be entertained, Looking for Alaska is the kind of book you read to get a dose of this is life, sometimes it sucks, sometimes we learn a thing or too, and the passion we attempt to emerse ourselves in is worthy of itself. I recommend this book wholeheartly to anyone with an open mind and an open heart. Everyone should read this book at least once in their life!
I give this book a 3/5 which is kind of low for everything I just said above (I know!). When I read this book I was just in really weird mood so I know I will get more out of this another day. It needs a reread and then it needs a re-rating. I just know this book is brilliant. (Sorry if the rating part is confusing to you ;/) I don't think I personally enjoyed it quite as much as Paper Towns (which is the more fun story) but I felt that it was the book more worthy of attention by the general public for the chances it takes and in the way it tries to explain a thing or two about life.(less)
Zor is a book I feel I have been waiting a long time to read without even realising that I have been. It is the cumulation of various thoughts on phil...moreZor is a book I feel I have been waiting a long time to read without even realising that I have been. It is the cumulation of various thoughts on philosopy, spirituality, and science, all wrapped up in an easy to follow, easy to read fiction package. I have read a book similar to this titled "True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In" in which half the book also presented it's ideas in a fictionalized story. In both cases the story is stripped down to it's very essentials - character and dialogue. Plot plays a role, albeit a very minor one.
What I like about this format is it's ability to draw me into the concepts presented in a very thrilling way. Will character A convince character B that the ideas of X are true or right? It makes it so that I have to pay attention, have to try to understand what the person is trying to say before moving on. But since character A is teaching character B, who hasn't heard of these ideas before, it's also easy enough to understand that the story goes very fast. And character B brings up all the questions I may have about the concept and ideas as well.
I was thrilled to find out that this is Zor. I wasn't completely taken with the characters. Their own stories kind of didn't do it for me. But their journey together certainly did. I had a blast learning about the concepts of chi and energy, multiple dimensions, and the power of positive thinking. I don't really agree with Zor's idea on religions. In fact I really don't agree with anyone who implies that the similarities between religions means that we are really all the same. I think people take that idea too far and are ignoring the differences too much that it can start to become disrespectful of certain history, religious texts, and lifestyles. I think religions are too complex to be simplied down to certain themes and concepts. I can see how Zor comes to the conclusion he does about us all being gods and the energy of all life. It does make sense the way he puts it. But that seems to me an entirely new type of spirituality than an answer to our similarities.
Overall, I would completely recommend this book. For people who love to learn but want to do so through fiction, or non-fiction readers who would prefer an introduction to certain concepts before diving into the heavier stuff.