An excellent finish to a great series! I am going to miss the adventures of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short, Butler and all the other great characters in th...moreAn excellent finish to a great series! I am going to miss the adventures of Artemis Fowl, Holly Short, Butler and all the other great characters in this series. (less)
I pick this up on the recommendation of Twitter who said it was an amazing book. So because I love fairy tales and twisted retellings, I bought it. It...moreI pick this up on the recommendation of Twitter who said it was an amazing book. So because I love fairy tales and twisted retellings, I bought it. It was okay. I was frustrated with Mira. I wanted her to see more than she was allowed. I know that her ignorance of fairy tales can be explained by her godmothers' banishment of any of that kind from her house but it frustrated me nonetheless. I was also frustrated by Blue who was obviously going to become the love interest. His character was so alarming in the beginning and yet he just kept showing up. But in the end he won me over.
I liked the dark tone set by the fairy tales. It is pointed out many times that fairy tales don't always have a happy ending for everyone involved and they can be quite violent. And this makes for a fairly interesting story for Mira. I think some of the actions are a little gross though given the fact that she is only 15. The story seems to lose sight of that on occasion. So it was a decent read especially if you love fractured fairy tales. It just wasn't the most engrossing one I have read.
The Little Bookworm haven't read Princess Ben so I was unfamiliar with the world and with the character. I might have to go back and read it because No...moreThe Little Bookworm haven't read Princess Ben so I was unfamiliar with the world and with the character. I might have to go back and read it because Nonna Ben was pretty fierce. As was Wisdom. She was very tenacious and curious and fairly unprincess-like. While she wasn't my favorite character (that honor going to Trudy) she was alright for a princess. Trudy was the sweetest and the one with the most to lose as an orphaned serving girl with psychic powers. The love triangle that springs up between Wisdom, Trudy and Tips, Trudy's childhood friend and first love, was inevitable. But the real meat of the story, for me, was in the intrigue between Wisdom's kingdom and the duchy she is meant to marry into. I loved the outcome and how clever they solved the problem.
I liked this book, let me say, I did. But it is told in many random forms like diary entries, memoirs, letters, biographies, a play and all of that together felt mish mashed. Random bits of important information are thrown in through in encyclopedia entries which seems like a lazy way of importing things readers need to know. The conceit is cute at the beginning but loses its cuteness about half way through the book. But it doesn't make the book unreadable. On the contrary, it is a charming book that I enjoyed very much. It was just one of the those things I couldn't help noticing.(less)
The Little Bookworm In Quill, people are divided at the age of 13 into three categories, Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds. The Wanteds are sent to u...moreThe Little Bookworm In Quill, people are divided at the age of 13 into three categories, Wanteds, Necessaries, and Unwanteds. The Wanteds are sent to university and get the higher level jobs, the Necessaries do the menial labor and the Unwanteds are sent to their death. But all is not what it seems because at the Death Farm, there is a magical world, Artimé, behind the gates that takes in the Unwanteds and grows their artistic talents (the reason they are Unwanted in the first place). Alex is an Unwanted with a drawing ability while his twin brother, Aaron, is deem Wanted. The two brothers are very different and that might cause the biggest problems of all between Quill and Artimé.
I really did feel sorry for Alex and all the other Unwanteds. Sentenced to die for having creative ideas is terrible. But the High Priest is determined to keep everyone under her control and forward-thinkers would challenge that so out they go. But luckily for them Mr. Today, the so-called "Death Farmer," has created a magical parallel universe hidden from Quill to save the Unwanteds and not only foster their artistic abilities but to teach them magic based on their abilities. So the drawing students learn to paint themselves invisible and use clay to bind people and many other pretty awesome things. The Unwanteds thrive in this world. But they must say hidden from the land of Quill otherwise the consequences would be dire. It's a pretty neat concept and I liked the magic involved as well as the characterization of Alex and his Wanted twin, Aaron.
I was expecting more older middle grade but this was read younger middle grade to me. The story was very simple and everyone was fairly straightforward. Nobody really had gray areas in their personality. But it was cute and I enjoyed it. The cover says The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter and that is far from the truth, having neither the grittiness of The Hunger Games nor the world-building of Harry Potter. It is still charming though. If I compared it to anything it might be Diana Wynne Jone's Chrestomanci series but it still lacks that intangible quality that makes those books great. What I'm getting at is that it is cute and fun and provides a largely one-sided view of creativity and that it is worth reading, but it lacks that something that makes a book a classic. Children will enjoy it, some adults will enjoy it as well. I would recommend it, just don't go looking for greatness. (less)
The Little Bookworm Alison wakes up in a mental institution with no memory of how she got there. As she begins to remember what happened, she also reme...moreThe Little Bookworm Alison wakes up in a mental institution with no memory of how she got there. As she begins to remember what happened, she also remembers confessing to killing a classmate. But how she remembers that event doesn't make any sense because people just don't disintegrate. Do they? As Alison struggles to make sense of that event, she always begins unraveling the mysteries of her own mind and her special abilities. So this was different. It starts Girl, Interrupted and then sharply detours into science fiction. Alison wakes up in the psych ward of a hospital covered in scratches and bruises with no memory of what happened. She is then moved to a mental health institution for young adults to recover and maybe tell what happened to her classmate, Tori, who disappeared the same day that Alison went crazy. The description of Pine Hills, the place that Alison goes, is really well written and very realistic. I could picture the place in my mind perfectly and it had a nice mix of patients that really illustrated the story the author was trying to tell.
Another aspect of Alison's story is her synesthesia. I've read a few books about this condition before and was interested to see it employed in this book. I liked how it was made integral part of the story but was not the point of the story. Alison didn't even realize that her extrasensory abilities had a name until part way through the story. It gave the story some interesting depth and played nicely into the climax of the story.(less)
The Little Bookworm Elodie is a spirited girl who only wants to become a mansioner, an actor, but is thwarted in her ambitions by her lack of money. So...moreThe Little Bookworm Elodie is a spirited girl who only wants to become a mansioner, an actor, but is thwarted in her ambitions by her lack of money. So she becomes the assistant to Meenore, a dragon skilled in logic and deduction. When the ogre hires the dragon to find out who is behind a strange turn of events at his castle, Meenore sends Elodie to be ITs eyes and ears. And Elodie learns about using her mansioning and logic talents for other purposes.
Gail Carson Levine can tell a good tale. While some of her other books are retellings of fairy tales (Ella Enchanted), this one has a few aspects (Puss in Boots) but is a wholly original book. And it is a very cute book. I loved all the fairy tale touches and the characters were delightful. I thought the solution to the mystery was easy, but that is because there tends to be a pattern in Levine's fairy tale books that gave it away. I do wish there was more of the dragon and the ogre because I loved both characters, but I'm wondering if they are going to be more books with Elodie and her friends.(less)
From The Little Bookworm Kami has lived her whole life with a boy inside her head. But when that boy turns out to be real and one of the dreaded Lynbur...moreFrom The Little Bookworm Kami has lived her whole life with a boy inside her head. But when that boy turns out to be real and one of the dreaded Lynburns, a family whose mysterious hold over the town causes fear and silence, Kami's perceptions of her life and her town are turned upside down. With her nap loving friend Angela and the other Lynburn, tall, polite Ash, Kami sets out to find out why the Lynburns are so feared in Sorry-in-the-Vale.
It's been a while since I've read a book that I haven't wanted to put down. For a long time now, I've lazily been reading books. Usually I ripped through books quickly taking a couple of days, sometimes a week but not much more. But not lately which is why I have been so quiet on this blog. But Unspoken was not a book to be put down. It pretty much demanded that I read it right now. And I am so glad it did. This is one of the funnies, smartest, and most engrossing book I've come across in a while. I loved it. While I didn't find what the Lynburns are to be that surprising, sometimes it is less about how original an idea is and more about how well it is executed. I did love the element that Kami and Jared are telepathically linked and how that came about. I loved the ending even though it broke my heart a little. I loved how funny this was. True story: I was reading this during a reference desk shift and started laughing out loud. Probably not my most professional moment but it could not be helped. This is a great book and I highly recommend it. (less)
The Little Bookworm A twisted fairy tale with a "choose your own adventure" plot. This one was fun. I love how the curse came from the neighboring vamp...moreThe Little Bookworm A twisted fairy tale with a "choose your own adventure" plot. This one was fun. I love how the curse came from the neighboring vampire queen rather than an evil fairy queen and how the curse changed as well. Lucette, Sleeping Beauty, is cursed to prick her finger at 16 and to fall asleep during daylight hours, but then wake during the night while everyone else sleeps. So she essentially alone at night with the vampires. But she learns to fight, much to her dad's displeasure, and becomes a vampire slayer. Once again I didn't go through all the choices, but I am definitely going to go through them soon.(less)
The Little Bookworm A fractured fairy tale with a twist. In this "choose your own plot" adventure, Cinderella is held prisoner by her evil wizard stepm...moreThe Little Bookworm A fractured fairy tale with a twist. In this "choose your own plot" adventure, Cinderella is held prisoner by her evil wizard stepmother and made to be a servant in her own house. She secretly begins practicing ninja skills and testing her magic abilities. But a visit from a mysterious servant from the royal house starts a chain of events for Cinderella and her escape.
I loved Choose Your Adventure books when I was young and I love fractured fairy tales so this book seemed right up my alley. I did like it. It was very fun though I wouldn't so much call Cinderella a "ninja warrior" as much as a really amazing fighter. The language felt too modern for the setting but that is my only real complaint. It was an action packed adventure something you don't see a lot in fairy tales and, though I had a hard time picturing the fighting, it was still exciting. The choose your own direction part was neat and though I didn't go through all of the possibilities, I will one day.(less)
The Little Bookworm 12 year old Oona is destined for the position of Wizard's Apprentice since she is a rare Natural Magician. But all she wants to do...moreThe Little Bookworm 12 year old Oona is destined for the position of Wizard's Apprentice since she is a rare Natural Magician. But all she wants to do is start her own detective agency. When the current Wizard, also Oona's uncle, is stabbed with a magic knife, it's up to Oona to figure out who purported the crime.
This was a great mix of fantasy and mystery so it combined two of my favorite genres. Oona is a girl detective and those are the best kind. She is smart, witty, clever and loyal to her uncle. She is also filled with a deep sadness after the death of her mother and sister and a fear of her own magic because of their deaths. It adds some depth to Oona's story which otherwise might have been too formulaic. I also loved Oona's talking encyclopedia raven, Deacon, and their relationship with each other and how he aids her in sleuthing and acts as her friend and companion.
The world that Odyssey has built is very well thought. Dark Street is the last of the faerie paths, now closed off to the Faerie world and only available to our world for a minute each night at midnight. It makes the inhabitants of Dark Street very unique. Still it is a pretty normal place to them. But it is a world unto itself. I liked how the magic of the place flavored the book, but wasn't the point of the book. I loved how really this is, at heart, a mystery, just dressed in fantasy clothes.(less)
The Little Bookworm The idea was a good one. A group of teenagers winning an online game sends them to a mysterious castle where they get to play an un...moreThe Little Bookworm The idea was a good one. A group of teenagers winning an online game sends them to a mysterious castle where they get to play an unknown level that sends them to another world. In this world, certain "ruler" words have literal power and there is a struggle going on between two factions. So what the players do has real consequences. I liked the idea. I wasn't so keen on the actual book. It felt like it needed more work, a little more editing or something. In the end, I didn't care about the characters, the setting, or what happened. I just wanted to finish it. (less)
An very different type of fairy tale including a dystopian society and the effects a human/faerie war has on mankind and the earth. The characters wer...moreAn very different type of fairy tale including a dystopian society and the effects a human/faerie war has on mankind and the earth. The characters were interesting. My only complaint would be that it felt too short. But it was an intriguing book and I loved the idea of it. I thought it was well executed and very interesting, just too short. It was a very quick read in any case.
The Princesses are back! This time they must battle the notorious assassin The Lady of the Red Hood, whose story you might know as...moreThe Little Bookworm
The Princesses are back! This time they must battle the notorious assassin The Lady of the Red Hood, whose story you might know as Little Red Riding Hood. The Princesses are lead to Talia's home country after an assassination attempt fails and it seems that someone is out to get Sleeping Beauty.
I love these books! By the third book of any series, especially a longer one than a trilogy, I begin to feel wary. But Hines seriously delivers. I think this one is even better than The Mermaid's Madness and I was happy to get more on Talia and to see the repercussions of her actions and explore more of her background. It was nice to see more of the "Sleeping Beauty" story explored and built on. I enjoyed the resolution for Talia and thought it was well done.
I loved the theme of Red Riding Hood and how that story was twisted so that the Lady of the Red Hood, Roudette, becomes someone both villainous and sympathetic at the same time. So well done. It was nice to see a match for Talia, but, of course, I always wanted Talia to win. I liked the whole straying from the path and how is was taken from a literal idea to a religious one. Roudette was a great villain and a great character.
I was also glad to see Danielle have a little more to do in this book. She is becoming a really awesome character and living up to the greatness of Talia and Snow. I can't wait for the next book since it seems to promise a bit more on Snow though I hear that it is the last book and that makes me sad. But still a great series so far on the whole.(less)