I've re-read the HP books many times, but there was something simply magical about reading this edition. It is absolutely stunning. The level of detaiI've re-read the HP books many times, but there was something simply magical about reading this edition. It is absolutely stunning. The level of detail in the illustrations is awe-inspiring and adds an extra magical element to reading this wonderful story. ...more
Graceling was awesome, Fire was great, but Bitterblue is just on a whole other level of amazing-ness! And yes, I sat there for 5 minutes trying to thiGraceling was awesome, Fire was great, but Bitterblue is just on a whole other level of amazing-ness! And yes, I sat there for 5 minutes trying to think of a way to express just how amazing it was, and that's the best I came up with!
Anyone who has read Graceling knows that Bitterblue's story is one of strength and determination, and was begging to be told. I wasn't disappointed! The writing was wonderful, and the story was full of intrigue, tension, and betrayals. It was a bit slow-moving at the very beginning, but as someone who read the previous books quite some time ago, I appreciated this time to get re-acquainted with the characters, the setting, and how much has changed since we last saw them in Graceling.
Much more reflective than the previous books, I loved how the focus wasn't necessarily on battles and quests, but instead focused on uncovering the truths behind Leck's legacy in Monsea, and on Bitterblue learning how to become the queen she was destined to be. With so many of our favourite characters in for the ride, good pacing, and lots of little surprises, I love how this books brings everything together, yet still leaves us wanting more.
Brilliant and amazing, it's definitely worth reading!
There are times when I find it hard to describe exactly how I feel about a book. When words don't quite do justice to the intense emotions that I feltThere are times when I find it hard to describe exactly how I feel about a book. When words don't quite do justice to the intense emotions that I felt. How can a star rating really describe the beauty, the complexity, and the power that is this amazing piece of writing?
This is an amazing book. The writing is spectacular, the descriptions evocative, the illustrations beautifully complex and complementary to the writing and tone. It's simply a work of art. ...more
Though the beginning is a bit slow and sluggish (a bit of Marchetta syndrome as I like to call it), the writing is beautifuWow! This book was amazing!
Though the beginning is a bit slow and sluggish (a bit of Marchetta syndrome as I like to call it), the writing is beautiful and the world-building and character development is fabulous. A true sign of a great book is when I reach the end and flip the book over and want to begin anew... definitely felt that here. ...more
It takes a special kind of book to make me both laugh and cry at the same time. My Most Excellent Year succeeded on multiple occasions. Finding wordsIt takes a special kind of book to make me both laugh and cry at the same time. My Most Excellent Year succeeded on multiple occasions. Finding words that correspond to the emotions it evokes is proving to be a challenge for me. This book is simply amazing!
It is heartwarming, witty, and makes you believe in the goodness of people. Though the book has its rather unrealistic moments, and the main characters don't sound like any 9th graders I know, these flaws are overcome by the magic that is imbued in its pages. TC, Augie, Alé, Hucky... I want to hug you all!
Also, I now have an incredible desire to rewatch Mary Poppins. ...more
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is simply divine! The writing is beautiful, the cover art is gorgeous, and the heroine is a spunky little gem.
Set atThe Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is simply divine! The writing is beautiful, the cover art is gorgeous, and the heroine is a spunky little gem.
Set at the turn of the 20th century, it is the tale of Calpurnia Tate, a soon-to-be 12 year old girl who lives in Texas with her family. The only girl in a family of 7 children, Callie Vee, as she refers to herself, is expected to be a proper young lady and learn how to cook, sew, and knit. The problem of course is that Callie would like nothing more than to spend hours with her grandfather either in the shed doing experiments or in the bush collecting insect samples. As Calpurnia discovers a world beyond her own, she starts questioning her path. Little girls are expected to become either wives or teachers... not scientists!
Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin's The Origin of Species, which I found very fitting considering Callie's discovering of the natural world. The writing is endearing and funny, and the author does a splendid job of giving the reader glimpses into the other facets of Callie's life. The ending is rather open-ended, but that's rather perfect in my opinion, and as a science teacher I applaud Callie's desire to become a female scientist in an era when that simply wasn't done. I think this book could be inspirational for young girls everywhere.
A friend of mine was reading this book on the subway a few weeks ago, and alternated between fits of giggles and flat-out blubbering. Her reactions toA friend of mine was reading this book on the subway a few weeks ago, and alternated between fits of giggles and flat-out blubbering. Her reactions to the book cemented my desire to read it myself, so when I got my own copy of Sorta Like a Rock Star this week, I was very excited.
I wasn't disappointed... Sorta Like a Rock Star is simply awesome!
Amber Appleton is the rock star of hope! Though she's far from being well off (she's homeless and lives on a yellow school bus), and suffers from abandonment issues and family drama, Amber manages to remain optimistic about life, and give hope to those around her. She puts others ahead of herself, and makes people smile... even Joan of Old. Though people tell her how special she is, she doesn't quite realize the implications of this, even when she starts thinking that all hope is lost.
Matthew Quick has written a gem of a novel. His characterization of Amber is spot-on. She's authentic, lovable, and flawed. Imbued with her own plays with words, the reader is immersed in Amber's world, and I know I was sad to leave it. This book is so awesome that I don't think I can even write something that will do it justice. It simply deserves to be read by one and all!
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a humorous yet poignant tale of a young teenage boy trying to adapt to life at an all-white school, while dealing with the guilt of leaving behind his community. Junior (or should I call him Arnold) is a wonderfully written character. He is witty and creative, yet constantly struggling to find his place in the world... a world in which he is often tormented, teased, and beat up.
The pacing is quick and to the point, not lingering too long on any one topic. At the same time however, it is rather intense, and brought tears to my eyes on multiple occasions. I laughed, I cried... and I greatly enjoyed seeing life through Junior/Arnold's eyes, even if sometimes it felt a bit odd to see things from a 14 year old boy's point of view.
This book was probably one of the best science books I've read in a long time. Science (mostly chemistry and physics, but also biology) was beautifullThis book was probably one of the best science books I've read in a long time. Science (mostly chemistry and physics, but also biology) was beautifully woven in with history, culture and economics, all against the backdrop that is the periodic table of elements.
I teach high school science... in fact, I teach chemistry. I try very hard to incorporate historical and cultural relevance in my classes, and spend a considerable amount of time explaining the beauty of the periodic table. For all my efforts though, I still get students who will ask me a question I don't know the answer to and have to look up.
If Mendeliev was so important why is his element numbered 101? Why is it not a smaller number? Can we find a lot of Plutonium on Pluto? Why are California and Berkley so important?
This book has answered many potential future students' questions, all while supplying me with an incredible wealth of new stories, examples, and quirks about chemistry, scientists and the periodic table, to use in my classes.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been curious about that big castle on the wall of their high school chemistry classroom, as well anyone with a passing interest in science. It is well-written, engaging, educational (in a non preachy way) and thoroughly enjoyable. ...more
Blackbringer is simply breathtaking, it's as simple as that! After reading Lips Touch Three Times, I was mesmerized by Laini Taylor's way with words aBlackbringer is simply breathtaking, it's as simple as that! After reading Lips Touch Three Times, I was mesmerized by Laini Taylor's way with words and determined to read something longer... something that would satiate me just a bit more. Blackbringer was definitely the answer to that.
Laini Taylor presents us with a story set in Dreamdark, an imaginative and beautifully constructed world where faeries co-exist in a place filled with mannies (humans), crows, Djinns, demons, imps, and dragons. But this isn't just your typical fairytale... it is so much more! The prose is exquisite, the descriptions evocative, the world-building fascinating, and the characterizations are rich and varied. The story moves at a great pace, never slacking, through all its twists and turns, all the way to the end.
It's the story of a feisty little faerie who must save the Tapestry of the World from unraveling, all while trying to capture the Blackbringer before it destroys them all. It's one of those books that you can't put down, and when you turn the last page, it leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction and longing for more. The best part... there IS more! Taylor has written a second novel set in Dreamdark, which I can't wait to read. ...more
I've always enjoyed stories with a historical twist to them, and this one was brilliantly done.
The alternate takes on history, mixed in with theWow!
I've always enjoyed stories with a historical twist to them, and this one was brilliantly done.
The alternate takes on history, mixed in with the Clanker vs Darwinist debate, made for a fascinating read. Of course I was at first a bit taken aback by the whole Darwinist approach, and their mutating species in 1914, but once I got past the ludicrous idea, I was amused by the subtle hints and references left throughout. I almost wish I hadn't known all along the truth about Dr Barlow's identity... just so I could have been surprised at the end.
I really liked how the story didn't jump right into their (the primary characters) meeting. The vast differences between their worlds made their eventual meeting much more dramatic, which is something I really enjoyed reading. The characters were both likable and well-developed, and the story was beautifully paced. And then there is the artwork, which is simply stunning!
This being said... I would have loved more backstory about Count Volger, and I would have loved for there to have been more traces left here and there, for us to piece together. I would also have liked for the wait before the next book to have been shorter, because I'm not very patient sometimes!
All in all however, Leviathan was a wonderful novel, and it's making me rethink Steampunk as a genre. A perfect blend of past and future, sci-fi, fantasy, and history... Leviathan is a great read!