Light, silly, at times annoying, but I had to keep reading... I had hoped to get this through a firstreads giveaway and give it to my 15 or 12yo son,...moreLight, silly, at times annoying, but I had to keep reading... I had hoped to get this through a firstreads giveaway and give it to my 15 or 12yo son, but I'm not sure either one would enjoy it. Definitely seems more like high school chick lit, or a beach read (assuming beach reads can include people trapped during a huge snowstorm?). Not my usually cup of tea but an okay diversion. One thing that repeatedly annoyed me is that Ariel was supposedly turning 17, but Miranda treated her more like she was turning 14 or 12. I don't remember that it established Miranda's age, but she couldn't have been much older. And how are they just walking in to all those stores to get stuff they need/want - surely they would all be locked up. Eye roll.
I suspect I would have enjoyed this more if I had been more familiar with Shakespeare's The Tempest - there were clearly lines and references that came from Shakespeare. I guess I'll have to go read that now. (Wait, didn't I say that about MacBeth just a few weeks ago??)(less)
My 9yo son says this is the best book he read during 2012. Of course, it's one of the last ones (finished in Dec), but he's also been really keen on T...moreMy 9yo son says this is the best book he read during 2012. Of course, it's one of the last ones (finished in Dec), but he's also been really keen on The Secret series, so I don't think it's just a recent effect talking! (The 12yo also read and enjoyed it.) I thought it was charming, funny, poignant, with some intrigue, danger, and suspense -- but not too scary or intense. When I was a girl, a friend and I used to play at Nancy Drew, making up mysteries to investigate -- that girl would have loved this book as well.
I'll let others point out the themes of identity and so on, or criticize the southern-quirkiness-stereotypes. Just know that it's good for reading aloud, and will make you laugh out loud, and might make you break into a faux southern accent as you read (if you're not above that sort of thing...)(less)
My oldest son is a big John Green / vlogbrothers / nerdfighters fan, so naturally he pre-ordered this book as soon as he could. He's read most of the...moreMy oldest son is a big John Green / vlogbrothers / nerdfighters fan, so naturally he pre-ordered this book as soon as he could. He's read most of the JG canon; I've read part of the e-sampler. I finally got around to reading The Fault in Our Stars last week, and really enjoyed it. Someone I know in real life mentioned in her review how "everyone is endlessly witty and clever, even parents" and that is certainly true (I happened upon her review about the same time I started the book - I see that Susan made a similar remark, and so have lots of reviewers). On the other hand, my husband complains about reading the Percy Jackson books to our youngest because "it is written like a teen-ager talks" (in an annoying way). Endlessly witty is definitely more enjoyable, even if not realistic!
I started tearing up around page 100 and did so for a few chapters - but surprisingly, I did not cry through the end. Maybe I knew what to expect and had steeled myself? Perhaps I was grouchy that day? Or maybe I was bucked up by the knowledge that my 2 oldest children did not cry when they read it (hey, they're boys - they've been listening to the rest of the world tell them to not cry, instead of listening to me tell them it's okay to show emotions). Deep, emotional, heart-tugging book. Read it with a tissue box nearby if you're prone to tears.(less)
This is totally of a period - especially the interactions between characters and how they speak to one another. Penny Nichols, the focus of the series...moreThis is totally of a period - especially the interactions between characters and how they speak to one another. Penny Nichols, the focus of the series, is the daughter of a (widower) detective and also thinks like a detective. As the book opens, she witnesses a jewelry theft and while chasing the culprit, knocks into a girl on an escalator. Because the girl is slightly injured, Penny offers her a ride home and the rest of the book revolves around Penny and Rosanna's adventures as they investigate the strange letter she received concerning an inheritance.
Much of the plot was predictable but it is all so innocent and cozy. Plus it was available for free for the Kindle, which is why I had it to begin with!
Two things that made me smile:
"If it hadn't been for that kid of yours, I'd have gotten away with it" the crook growled. <-- instantly made me think Scooby Doo!
This line appears near the very end: "In the third volume of the Penny Nichols series, entitled "The Secret of the Black Imp", she encounters a mystery more baffling than any she had previously solved.
and reminded me of MT Anderson Pals in Peril books, how they're always referring to the other books in the series. I knew Anderson was satirizing but didn't realize that kind of phrase really appeared in books of that bygone era. (Somewhere earlier it mentions her previous book in the series. Poor Rosanna, doesn't have a series of her own... :-) (less)
I bought this book during a Borders going-out-of-business visit. I originally intended it for my middle son, who likes more realistic fiction; then i...moreI bought this book during a Borders going-out-of-business visit. I originally intended it for my middle son, who likes more realistic fiction; then i thought about sending it to a nephew who is a war history buff. But its fate was decided this past summer when we visited the Valley Forge Visitor Center (more for the bathrooms than the history lesson!). The boys really wanted to buy this book, but I wouldn't do it since i knew we had it at home. None of us had read the first book (Chains) - I wasn't even really aware of it.
A few weeks ago, when the 9yo needed a new bedtime book, this is what we turned to. As I read it, I realized that it's definitely aimed at an older audience. The opening is very intense: Curzon stumbles upon a confrontation between a redcoat and a very young Revolutionary soldier. He throws a stone at a crucial moment and saves the boy's life, and thus begins a somewhat-tentative friendship between Curzon and Ebenezer. Curzon has to join the army in order to avoid a prickly situation with a former 'employer' (who never actually paid him). The first half of the novel follows Curzon's experience in a company of soldiers, and you learn about his prior life either through what he tells Ebenezer and others, or through his own internal dialogue (things hidden from the soldiers, such as the fact that he had been a slave and might not technically be free at this point). You also learn a few snippets about Isabel, who I gather is the main focus of Chains. Just when you think things are going to get better, his former master (Bellingham) shows up, and even though Curzon upheld his end of the bargain, Bellingham reasserts his claim over the boy.
The story is intense - not always battle intense, but emotionally intense. I gather it's fairly historically accurate, which means it's also culturally complicated. The 9yo could usually spot injustice where it occurred, but I found myself explaining quite a lot and pointing out a lot of subtleties. It definitely provides opportunities for discussion. Even teens (esp young teens) would benefit from having someone to discuss it with.
Although nothing specific ever happens, there are numerous suggestions that Bellingham has "lust in his heart" when he observes Isabel and has perhaps forced himself on her. This went completely over the head of my 9yo, but might require explanation for others. (less)
I read a Project Gutenberg (or other free) edition on my Kindle. This was not necessarily the best way to experience the book since it was purely text...moreI read a Project Gutenberg (or other free) edition on my Kindle. This was not necessarily the best way to experience the book since it was purely text. I think I would have enjoyed the story much more if it had included a map tracing the journey as it evolved. I'd also really appreciate some illustrations of all the magical technology, a layout of the Nautilus, etc. Perhaps I've been reading too many graphic novels lately, but I needed visuals!
The plot rambles at times (sort of like the journey?). The story is a mix of slogging description and interesting adventures with an occasional touch of wonderful prose. Based on a few other reviews I gather that is perhaps a fault of the translator. At times I wished I was reading a "condensed for young readers" version (such as the edition of Moby Dick I read). (less)
Story kind of choppy. The art was okay, but the style is not really my cup of tea - a little too scribbly for me (reminds me of Old Black Fly, which I...moreStory kind of choppy. The art was okay, but the style is not really my cup of tea - a little too scribbly for me (reminds me of Old Black Fly, which I never much liked), and there are aspects to the main characters that bugged me (esp the cowardly lion).
When i was a kid, I read all the Oz books that my local public library had, and I watched the movie on TV every year. I decided to use these graphic novel adaptations as a way to re-familiarize myself with the stories. The second one is near the top of my TBR pile!(less)