I was stalking poking around Maria V. Snyder's website when I found this in the short stories section. A woman sends a warning email through time to hI was stalking poking around Maria V. Snyder's website when I found this in the short stories section. A woman sends a warning email through time to her younger self... but will her younger self heed her advice? (view spoiler)[No, she doesn't. I must admit I got a bit of a kick reading something with such a hopeless ending... a nice change from all the sunshine and roses!(view spoiler)[ A very short and succinct story at just over a thousand words, well worth the read! (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]...more
This is such a charming picture book! It tells the story of a young boy, Matthew, whose mother is in the Air Force and has had to go abroad. Matthew'sThis is such a charming picture book! It tells the story of a young boy, Matthew, whose mother is in the Air Force and has had to go abroad. Matthew's grandfather shares with him the postcards and letters that his own father sent him and his siblings when he was abroad during World War II.
The illustrations are truly what make this book special. The story is sweet and simple, easy for little ones to follow, but the full-page illustrations are simply gorgeous, making this a visual treat for older readers as well :D...more
Lovely illustrations again, but perhaps I am a smidge too old to be thoroughly charmed by the text. The poetry doesn't really have enough flow or rhytLovely illustrations again, but perhaps I am a smidge too old to be thoroughly charmed by the text. The poetry doesn't really have enough flow or rhythm to it and the text is extremely sparse in many cases - think one page with only half a dozen words to it! However, if I was four or five and being read this, I'd probably have loved it, so I'll bump it up a star from my more grown-up point of view ;) It's lovely to look at and to see the colour slowly creeping in a little more on each page.
Also, an interesting idea using lines from famous writers in with the author's own words. There's a bibliography at the end showing who wrote what, and the full verses that the lines borrowed have come from, which is itself an awesome idea. In some cases it works nicely, slipping in a very familiar sounding line or two, but in other cases the lines used just feel too brief to be worth the credit. eg. from William Cullen Bryant's The Snow Shower, words used in this book are underlined:
"Stand here by my side and turn, I pray. On the lake below thy gentle eyes; The clouds hang over it, heavy and grey, And dark and silent the water lies."
See? Five words! Not even five consecutive words. ...more
So this was pretty cute :) A nice, quick read about a dorky new girl who goes off to a Cheerleading Camp - actually before the school year has even stSo this was pretty cute :) A nice, quick read about a dorky new girl who goes off to a Cheerleading Camp - actually before the school year has even started! I'd be interested to read the books when school does start and she's new but not totally unfamiliar :)
The 'snob' of the title isn't really a snob actually, she's a bully. (view spoiler)[But she actually comes good in the end - no tricks! Unexpected, but nice to see for a change. Her nastiness was more due to her being blunt and insensitive, rather than spite.
I loved the ending as well, how we don't see the outcome of the competition, just that Faith feels like a winner already so who really wins isn't necessary. (hide spoiler)]
Most of the notes from Faith were pretty cute as well, and added to the fun of this book. Although I can't help but think that some of the pop-culture references are going to make this feel dated in a year or two!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I adore this series! Although actually I found that this book began a lot slower than the last, and slower than any of the Luxe books as well - I wasI adore this series! Although actually I found that this book began a lot slower than the last, and slower than any of the Luxe books as well - I was worried for a time that I wasn't going to adore it as much. But then of course it picked right up and I could barely stand to put it down :D (view spoiler)[Although the ending I also felt was a bit flat, for being the middle book of a trilogy. I was dreading the coming cliffhanger, which Anna Godbersen does so well... and was then quite let down when it didn't happen at all! (hide spoiler)]
I think Astrid is my favourite of the three, so I sure hope she doesn't end up dead. (I'll be willing to sacrifice Cordelia, since I also adore Letty to bits.) She's so wonderfully vibrant, so into-herself yet loveable at the same time. Oh gosh, I love this thought of hers as well, which I had to note down: "Soon she was to be a married woman and should no longer be treated as the kind of pleasure seeking creature one might find swinging from a chandelier." THAT'S SO ASTRID. I adored her efforts at trying to be all self-sufficient and ending up making the roast dinner from hell.
Another of my notes was about how I wouldn't be surprised if Billie was gay... seems to be obvious with her clothes, her short hair, her hobbies, her attitude... stereotypical? Yes, but I'll take it. She's a background player, she has to have something to make her stand out as more than just another rich girl!
So then you can imagine my sheer, unadulterated glee over the part where she kissed Astrid. ;)
When Cordelia turned away from Victor, she saw Billie leaning forward to take Astrid's heart-shaped face in her hands and kiss her big, soft lips. By then everything seemed perfectly hilarious and inconsequential, so Cordelia laughed and turned to the bartender and ordered another round, and when she looked back she saw that they were still kissing. It was only when the drinks were served that their mouths parted and Billie took her hands off Astrid's waist. Then Billie raised her glass and toasted, "To hell with men!"
I loved Astrid's thoughts on the matter too. To her it wasn't real or meaningful or anything, of course. She was having a lovely night, all the men had their eyes on her - and "when a girl gets watched like that, she begins to feel that she is the prettiest sight around, and wants nothing so much as to put her lips to her own reflection."
The kiss was of no consequence to Astrid, who had all but forgotten it by the next morning. Probably by five minutes after it had happened! But I'd like to see more of Billie in the third book... see if it was just as unimportant to her or if she'd been living the dream with her drunken step-sister ;)
One thing that slightly disappointed me was the plethora of made up stars... this is the 1920s, the era of Norma Shearer, Clara Bow, Ramon Novarro, John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, etc! Of course it made sense when Valentine O'Dell appeared for him to be a fictional star, but when Letty was just reeling off actors and films she liked, what would have been the harm in her mentioning some real ones? As a classic film fan, that made me a little sad.
Definitely looking forward to the third book, and seeing what fate will defall Letty now that Mr. O'Dell has taken her under his wing...
Wow, I can't believe I managed to actually finish this. I've heard of the book for a long time, because I've long been a fan of the Drina series and sWow, I can't believe I managed to actually finish this. I've heard of the book for a long time, because I've long been a fan of the Drina series and so this was ALWAYS coming up in searches on ebay and the like ;) I know it's not at ALL similar, duh, but when I saw it at the book swap last year I figured, why not? And it sounds like it ought to be interesting... a fictionalised historical account... but then wow it's not. Well, some bits are, but for the most part it's very dry and reads like a text book. For me, there's occasionally not enough human interest to keep the pace going. I'm much more interested in stories of actual PEOPLE - like, the ones about individuals, where you kind of get to know someone, not just outlines of the townsfolk of Višegrad as a whole.
The bridge was built in the 16th century, and the book spans its life from the idea of its birth until finally the middle section is destroyed during the first world war. Which is actually quite sad, because the bridge and its kapia are like a character unto themselves, they're constant and reliable... man, it was the saddest thing ever when the building of the railway line made the bridge all but redundant :(
The building was an interesting few chapters, to learn how such a thing was possible back in the 16th century - although I still would have liked a bit more detail as to HOW the middle was done, where the water was deepest! And the pace was kept going by the tale of poor Radisav, who was impaled - alive - on the bridge after being caught destroying parts of it during the night. He and some others had decided to vandalise the bridge in order to make the vezir and the builders think the vila (sinister fairies?) were displeased at its building, and thus stop. (This obviously didn't work and the impaling scene was rather horrific.)
Then there was the tale of the Arab who was half crushed beneath a block which fell right into place, when he was stupidly standing beneath it - and who ended up becoming a legendary figure amongst the children of the town over the generations. I loved the chapter on Milan the idiot gambler, and was right into the tale of Fedun - a bridge guard who was taken in by a pretty girl who used his distraction over her looks so smuggle her boyfriend (disguised as an old woman) across the bridge. There were tales of massive floods as well, and of keeping out cholera and the plague by not allowing ANYONE across the bridge. There were Turks and Serbs, Jews and Christians and Moslems, shifting borders... all of which sounds interesting and I guess I learnt a little, but there was just SO much there and if you have no background knowledge in that area, as I didn't, it can get a bit overwhelming and confusing and you only really come out with the basics.
It was a relief to finally finish this. If I hadn't been trapped on a plane with it and only it, I probably would have quit half-way! ...more
Not the best of the lot, but a decent introduction to the series. As with many heroines in ballet stories, Drina wants to dance but can't - her grandpNot the best of the lot, but a decent introduction to the series. As with many heroines in ballet stories, Drina wants to dance but can't - her grandparents forbid it. As there are ten more books in the series, you can guess that she does eventually get her way. ;)...more
One of my least favourites, though I enjoyed it more than Drina Ballerina. Not sure exactly why I didn't love it as much as the others! Although thereOne of my least favourites, though I enjoyed it more than Drina Ballerina. Not sure exactly why I didn't love it as much as the others! Although there is every chance it was entirely because the cover picture of Drina on the edition I first read was kind of ugly.