I just finished my ARC of this moments ago. If I were to liken it to anything I would call it a "Charlotte's Web" meets Roald Dahl. It takes place on...moreI just finished my ARC of this moments ago. If I were to liken it to anything I would call it a "Charlotte's Web" meets Roald Dahl. It takes place on this magic Rhubarb farm and centers on 11 year old protagonist Polly Peabody, who loves her family and home... but when things pop up to threaten the peaceful existance that she has always known Polly has to summon up the strength to accept changes. At the heart of the story it's really a coming of age book... but it's so much more than that.
I enjoyed this. It's a good two sittings kind of book. However, I wasn't WOWed... WOW this book is amazing... WOW this book will win every award... I did, however have fun reading this book and I enjoyed many of the bizarre things about it. It will be a FUN book for everyone who likes a little bizarro in their books. (less)
This was an interesting premise that fell flat. I was disappointed when I got to the end, and frankly skipped over a chunl of the journey from one sid...moreThis was an interesting premise that fell flat. I was disappointed when I got to the end, and frankly skipped over a chunl of the journey from one side of America through Europe. It needed to be about... oh, 65 pages shorter. But yeah, a spirit of death taking a jpyride in Rasputin's body and taking on the Romanov children Anastasia and Alexis as his apprentices. Brilliant concept! I wish it were written better. I wanted to love it, but I only just liked it.(less)
A really neat, really new... really fresh premise, merging American folklore with Clockpunk Fantasy! There's was a bit in the end battle that I felt a...moreA really neat, really new... really fresh premise, merging American folklore with Clockpunk Fantasy! There's was a bit in the end battle that I felt a tad overlong (and as a result skimmed through) but it was still a very unique read. I am intrigued to read the next one, and might even see my way to re-read this again when the sequel gets published (in 2010, likely). The bits I liked the best were with Jolie, Ray, and the characters in the Ballyhoo trying to get to know one another, that is where Bemis' strength lies, character interaction. He can craft a hell of an interesting plot, but his strength are his characters and how they develop.
Fans of fantasy won't want to miss this one. Unique, bizarre, oddball, eccentric, and very much it's own singular piece of work. Enjoy it with a relish, because you won't ever find anything like this. Trust me. (less)
I really wanted to love this book, but it fell flat about half way through. The beginning was brilliant, the lead up of the girl's introduction into f...moreI really wanted to love this book, but it fell flat about half way through. The beginning was brilliant, the lead up of the girl's introduction into fashionable society, the practice of magic with Ally and her resulting kidnapping, and the mystery about it all. Too bad that Persy decided to cast a spell on her love interest... that was one ridiculous plot arc... let's cast a spell on Lochinvar to make him fall in love with me when I'm drinking, feel bad once I sober up and distance myself from him when he expresses interest, flirt outrageously with another man to dissuade him, this entangling someone else's emotions in this silly fiasco...and constantly refute the man I loves attentions even though I want him desperately and no one else... yeah... brilliant plan Persy. Stellar.
I'm curious about the next one because there were many fun things about this book, but seeing as how I skimmed a large chunk of it I imagine I won't be rushing to read the sequel anytime soon. The premise is such fun, the writing (and character development) need work. (less)
This turned out to be a much better read than I anticipated. It's fluffy teeny high school dramas but done really well. Phoebe Castro's mom just up an...moreThis turned out to be a much better read than I anticipated. It's fluffy teeny high school dramas but done really well. Phoebe Castro's mom just up and decides to move her to a unheard of Island in Greece after a whirlwind mariage to a headkeeper of an exclusive school - a school for the descendants of the Greek Gods. Yeah.
Immersing herself in the running program Phoebe is counting the days until she can return to her beloved California and her friends, but thereare many distractions to be considered on the island of Serfopoula.. handsome distractions, and downright nasty distractions as well.
A little bit of Percy Jackson, a whole lot of Mamma-mia, and just the right amount of House of Night, this series will please many people with it's clever writing, it's fun characters, and it's spunky heroine, Phoebe. I enjoyed this alot more than I thought I would. Surprisingly so. (less)
I started reading an ARC of this... it's many things I SHOULD by all accounts love...mystery, fantasy, TERRIBLY British in wit and wry humour, full of...moreI started reading an ARC of this... it's many things I SHOULD by all accounts love...mystery, fantasy, TERRIBLY British in wit and wry humour, full of animals, kites, and clueless young girls... and yet I got about 85 pages in and realized that I was skimming through an encounter with the first "Monster", a Woodpecker man. This is not good, considering I had another 250+ pages to go and was already on the skim.
I wonder if it's just not the time for the book. It's a quick enough read, but my heads not in it. Also, the mechanics of music as a fantasy element always throw me. I can't wrap my head around it. So there's that. Maybe it's just not the book for me, but someone out there is bound to love it. (less)
Ok, first off this was not the book I thought it was when I cracked the cover. I was expecting a courtly fantasy set in a far away land where women do...moreOk, first off this was not the book I thought it was when I cracked the cover. I was expecting a courtly fantasy set in a far away land where women donning hoes and tunics would take out magical beasts in respectful and ceremonial ways... this was not the book I found myself reading at all. I was expecting Tamora Pierce and what I got was Buffy the Unicorn Slayer.... Meets David and Goliath... Meets "Aliens"...Meets "Revolutionary Girl Utena" (for a reason I cannot explain this book just made me keep thinking of that series)...
So I came for the storyline...what I stayed for was the characters, and what a unique bunch of girls to throw together pell mell.. and what fun to read! It's like making soup; start with two Americans, add an angry Brit, add a pair of Bavarian siblings, a feisty French model, a Belgian princess, a soft Viennese pianist, a girl from Singapore, a 12 yr old from Delhi, and a drug addled gypsy and suddenly the Cloisters of Ctesias becomes an interesting place to set a story. Oh, and a couple of Italian Amerian boys help to add another flavour in the mix.
Be fair warned, the gore in this book is not for the faint of heart. There are enough bloody descriptions of battle carnage in here to make any gore enthusiasts squirm, that's for sure.
I liked it. It was unexpected. It was fun. Bits were roughly written, but not enough to ever turn me off. I dug it. I would like to read another one, if Peterfreund turns this into a series. Lot's of fun.
PS. The ARC cover is terrible! (The blonde blue eyed waif clutching a sword to her chest). Don't let this turn you off. The new cover art (a close cropped face and a sword with an image of a unicorn on the blade) proves to be much more tolerable than the inital embarrassing cover that I had in my possession. (less)
This was one of those books I sat down to read telling myself I was just going to read a few chapters and switch to my other book.... Well, I ended up...moreThis was one of those books I sat down to read telling myself I was just going to read a few chapters and switch to my other book.... Well, I ended up reading half the book in one sitting. It's a fabulous read, and I'm not surprised it has won so much praise and accolades (National Book Award Winner - 2005). It's a very light a fun read. It reminds me very much of Little Women, but perhaps Little Women if Hayao Miyazaki had made a movie and set it in a contemporary time period. It's a wonderful book, and I will tell that to anyone who asks me about it.(less)
I think I timed my reading of this very poorly because I recently also read "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick and then I decided to pick up an ARC I h...moreI think I timed my reading of this very poorly because I recently also read "Hush, Hush" by Becca Fitzpatrick and then I decided to pick up an ARC I had of Lauren Kate's "Fallen"...big mistake. For one thing, they both have onerous amounts of sexual tension leading up to a dramatic reveal. For another: It's the same reveal, or at least a very similiar one. But while I found "Hush, Hush" to be enjoyable and engaging I didn't get that out of this book to the same degree. Plus nothing got resolved that I wanted and that annoyed me to no end. I am usually ok with cliffhangers as long as they are well written ones. It was ok, but not "Wow, I loved this book!" I hate that I kept reading it and thinking of another book but that's what happened, and I know that the reading of this suffered by comparison.
That said, I really wanted to like this book, but there wasn't a whole lot there for me to grasp onto. It was about, oh, 100 pages too long in story for my tastes. I felt like Kate could have streamlined the story to make it much more exciting to read and not "Oh, I want him... I can't have him because he doesn't want me... so I'll stalk him instead". When I thought about it there wasn't much about any of the characters I liked at all either. There was something compelling about it that made me stick it out through the whole book but it was a chore at the end to finish it. It was... ok. And that's about it. (less)