Why I bought it? My daughter and I were book shopping and I thought she might enjoy it. I like Haddix. I especially enjoyed her "Among the Hidden" serWhy I bought it? My daughter and I were book shopping and I thought she might enjoy it. I like Haddix. I especially enjoyed her "Among the Hidden" series. This is sort of a sequel to Just Ella but not really. Ella is in it eventually. I had enjoyed that book too, so I thought it could be a fun read for me as well.
Synopsis: Cecilia is a princess in hiding. A knight comes and gives her classes in ruling and Latin, etc. Desmia, a commoner is in the palace as a decoy to keep her safe from those who killed her parents. When someone shows up in her little village to capture her she escapes with her best friend, Harper, and goes to reclaim her crown. Will Desmia be glad to just step aside and give Cecilia her crown?
What I thought? In pure Haddix style there are some major twists. I knew she liked to do this and was completely surprised anyway. It was a fun read especially because of the twists. I really enjoyed the role that Ella played when she showed up. It's not your standard Princess story. If you liked Just Ella you will like this too. (You don't have to have read it to follow the story, but it does help you enjoy Ella's role more.)
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5
Cleanness Score: 2 out of 10, Other than her being pretty dirty most of the book, it is a clean read. Heehee! I can't remember any language and the 2 is for situational things that little kids might not get and a bit of violence. Nothing bad though. It seems more MG than YA, but I think your YAs would really enjoy it. I did....more
Why I bought it? I actually didn't buy this one. A friend recommended it highly and lent it to me on CD.
Synopsis: Carol Burnett tells humorous vignettWhy I bought it? I actually didn't buy this one. A friend recommended it highly and lent it to me on CD.
Synopsis: Carol Burnett tells humorous vignettes and memorable moments from her life starting at her childhood and continuing through her rise to fame and beyond.
What I thought? There's a reason I'm breaking my regular schedule for this. I LOVED it. I highly recommend listening to this one. Carol Burnett narrates. She tarzan yells, sings, chuckles, and you chuckle along. It's completely enchanting. It took me back to watching her show as a little kid. If you are a fan of Carol Burnett, you will love this. If you've never heard of her, you will still get a kick out of her stories. Her first experience with a mugger had me dying laughing. There are serious moments, too, and I cried a few times--then again, it's easy to make me cry.
My Rating: ***** out of 5, for the CD at least. I think it would be the same for the book. My daughter's rating: **** (she said no one takes a kid seriously if they rate something a 5--so take her seriously--she'd never heard of most of the names Carol throws around and still really enjoyed it.)
Cleanness Score: 4 out of 10, There was a little mild swearing, and a couple places where she talks about adult topics but nothing obscene. My 16 year old listened to most of it with me....more
Why I bought it? I actually didn't buy this. I won it in a contest. Yay me! I'm so glad I did. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. I thought IWhy I bought it? I actually didn't buy this. I won it in a contest. Yay me! I'm so glad I did. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. I thought I wasn't a fan of necromancers and that sort of thing, but the blogger giving it away raved about how great it was, so I entered.
Synopsis/Set up: When goofing around at work gets out of hand and a taillight gets busted on the WRONG car, a new world opens up for Sam (full name: Samhain Corvus LaCroix--it's something, eh? and there's meaning in them there names). A world that may end up killing him. He's been an unmotivated average guy, but he discovers that he is actually a necromancer. Can he discover why his powers have taken so long to surface? Or save himself and his friends from the impending doom?
What I thought? With the title's spin on Elton John's Tiny Dancer* I figured I was in for a fun ride, but I had no idea how entertaining it would be. It ended up as one of my top 10 favorites of 2010 (a stiff (no pun intended) competition). Sam's voice and personality carry the day: witty and sarcastic but also lovable. He is trying to do the right thing. He is just as shocked at the events unfolding around him (death, mayhem, impending death, undead pandas, a talking head, etc.) as I was, even though others take them in stride. The big strength for me in this book was the humor. It kept me laughing all the way through. I love that it's a great book for guys. There are not near enough of these out there. If you like dark humor, do yourself a favor and read this. I seriously had a hard time putting it down.
*All the chapters, as a matter of fact, are headed with song titles (or variations on them) and very clever. I laughed out loud at some of them and chuckled later about points in the chapter that applied. Most teen readers won't recognize them all though as many of the songs are older ones. (Not even my daughter, who's a classic rock aficionado, recognized them all.)
My Rating: ****1/2
My Daughter's Rating: ****3/4, She said, "I really loved the book. There were parts that could have been written better, but it was still very, very good. The humor was pretty dark most of the time, but it was a good fit for me."
Cleanness Score: 6 out of 10, This is for your older teens. There is some language, violence, and a sort of skipped-over sex scene. I did let my 16 year old daughter read it.
It was a finalist for the William C. Morris Award that honors debut YAs. A seriously amazing debut novel. ...more