I am probably the only person on Goodreads who hasn't read this until now! My hesitation: I don't believe in presenting children with the idea that wi...moreI am probably the only person on Goodreads who hasn't read this until now! My hesitation: I don't believe in presenting children with the idea that wizardry and witchcraft are something they should want or desire. Being required to read this for the British Literature Study Abroad, I gave it a try. I absolutely adore Rowling's way with words. She touched on vivid imagery, specific ways things felt, putrid smells,shrieks and hisses, and even senses in the way of "sensing a presence". She built three worlds and allowed for the young people to be the heros.
In this first Harry Potter book, she focused on the story and the friendship of Harry, Hermione, and Charlie, but didn't go very deep into their characters. I think it works for the age this book was intended for, but I hope that in her later books that she offered a bit more.
If you have any reservations about reading about dark arts with young ones, I wouldn't recommend this book to very impressionable children. If your child is mature and able to process that it's fantasy and your family will not be pursuing wizardry, then it would be a good fiction selection to engage his or her imagination.(less)
Wow! I just finished this book and am blown away by C.S.Lewis. I saw the movie and assumed the filming added much of the detail, but no - it's Lewis....moreWow! I just finished this book and am blown away by C.S.Lewis. I saw the movie and assumed the filming added much of the detail, but no - it's Lewis. He's such a detailed writer and the emotions he takes the reader through are gut-wrenching. The story picks up a little past halfway and hits you like a brick through a plate glass window. I also was surprised to see frequent use of semi-colons!If you enjoy the world-building of Cornelia Funke in Inkheart, you'll love the Chronicles of Narnia/The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I can't wait to read the other six books.(less)
I have to say it right from the start - beginning with chapter one of Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn blew my mind wide-open! The very beginning, her ma...more I have to say it right from the start - beginning with chapter one of Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn blew my mind wide-open! The very beginning, her main character, Kira, has a point of view rarely seen in YA Paranormal. She's the one without the power. Even her best friend, Rafael, went through the change and can read minds, except hers. Kira's narration takes you through the grueling experience of trying to get through a day in high school where everyone else can read minds. Imagine not having a single private thought during your teens. No way to filter.....
That is, until she meets Simon, who helps her realize how special she is.
Soon after, Open Minds, takes a 180 twist, sending Kira on a tumultuous action-adventure with a heavy dose of paranormal powers. Due to circumstances out of her control, she turns away from those closest to her in order to protect them all. She can't even share her most life-changing secret with those close to her because it could get them killed. She's never been so alone in her life - never been felt so betrayed. Kira goes from being an insecure, powerless teenager to a Chuck-Norris level hero with her clever plans to rescue the youngest victims of a government conspiracy. Kira uses her uniqueness to her advantage, as well as her own intellect - and that's what I love about her most.
Open Minds forces the reader to open their eyes and look around them and imagine the opposite. What if I was the opposite of who I am now, how would I live my life? What challenges would I face? Susan Kaye Quinn answers those questions for Kira in her non-stop action-packed paranormal-edge-of-my-seat thriller. I could not put this one down until I finished it. Praise is due for her uniqueness in Mindjack slang and in her portrayal of the value of family unit. And to tie a bow on it, she give a most satisfying ending, leaving you ready for book two of the Mindjack Trilogy.
However, the title of book two has me worried - Closed Hearts. What could that mean? Emotional detachment? or has she cooked up a superpower that messes with emotions? Can't wait to find out!
This is one of the strangest books I've ever read! It's an odd mix of shimmery clouds, dark experiences, disconnected loved ones and new friendships....moreThis is one of the strangest books I've ever read! It's an odd mix of shimmery clouds, dark experiences, disconnected loved ones and new friendships. Reading it gave me a very bad, lost feeling - like there was no reality, only experiences. It gave me a huge case of separation anxiety for the characters. I give the author credit that if that is what the author was trying to convey, she succeeded. She certainly is originial and creative in sharing her depiction of the afterlife, Here&Now. Another thing I picked up on was that the language jumped from pre-teen to college level vocabulary. The author does address it in the story, but it just felt wierd. I suppose that means it has something for everyone. I did enjoy the inclusion of the dog in the story and the ending left hope that the characters are in a good place and ready to lead a solid adventure in Shimmer.(less)
Just what is the Power of Six? If you read I am Number Four about the surviving Garde of the original nine from the planet Lorien and thought you saw...more Just what is the Power of Six? If you read I am Number Four about the surviving Garde of the original nine from the planet Lorien and thought you saw some serious paranormal action, just wait until you read what Six is truly capable of. Not only can she fight, she can train even the weakest man to unleash some serious wrath! And that's just one of the Garde - find out what the six survivors can do together. The Power of Six picks up with John, Six, and Sam on their quest to find the rest of the Garde. The Mogodorians are not only aware of number seven and her Cepan, they are setting up camp and ready to battle. Pittacus Lore takes you around the world and pulls the earth out from under your feet for an epic battle between some seasoned, some wet-behind-the-ears Loren, and and entire clan of don't-stop-until-you're-obliterated Mogadorians. This book is packed with intensity, loss, discovery and victory. Best of all, you get to meet another member of the Garde, number Nine. This book has something for everyone - man/woman, YA boy and girl. If you love paranormal action and books full of surprises, you have got to read The Power of Six - even as a stand alone book it's fist-pumping exciting! I cant wait to learn more about Nine's Legacy in The Lost Files.
And if you really want to get your YA Paranormal on - check out Pittacus Lore's fan page for secret messages and updates.(less)
First of all, I have to say - COVER LOVE! This is one of those books where the cover gets your attention and is a perfect representation of the main...more First of all, I have to say - COVER LOVE! This is one of those books where the cover gets your attention and is a perfect representation of the main character.
Shatter Me is Tahereh Mafi's first novel, written in the writer's unique non-conventional style. She starts off in Juliette's fragile mind - barely able to walk the line between sanity and insanity. Juliette is in a prison/mental ward because her powers are so dangerous even her parents are terrified of her. But soon her days of perpetually counting everything and secretly writing in her journal end when she meets her new cellmate, Adam. At first she's afraid of him and has nowhere to go, but soon, he takes her to his commanding officer and she finds herself in the "grips" of Warner. Warner is and egotistic, power-hungry, tyrannical leader. He's not only out to control the entire post-apocalyptic world, he wants to control Juliette as well. The story takes a turn and Juliette and Adam are off on an adventure that takes them to what could be freedom, or could be another life of being controlled and used to fight a war for another operation. Juliette has to figure out if she wants to fit in or flee before things get out of control. Reviews for Shatter Me were all over the place. Mafi writes in a style that reveals not only the main character's thoughts, but goes even deeper. She's transparent in that most characters have one solid thought, hers share their chosen thought path at the same time as revealing what they are really thinking, usually the opposite. It's very different and you either love it or hate it. It's like listening to a song and having someone "scratch" every few minutes. I had a hard time with it and found that once the writer stopped doing it, I enjoyed the flow of the story more. I think I could have done without about 75 pages of Juliette's madness in the beginning. That's not to say she should not be true to herself and write the way she wants. She is very brave and out-of-the-box with her style and did keep me interested. I think this is one of the few times I fell in love with the secondary characters before I even liked the main character. Once the story developed and the main character, Juliette, was able to focus, I began to like her too. The last few chapters pave the way for a promising second book that I can't wait to read. Now we're talkin'! Once I finished the book and read the inner jacket, I found that Mafi is a kindred soul..."When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts." A true lover of all things written and I would love to meet her!
I give Shatter Mefour stars! Can't wait for Unravel Me - I just know it's going to be her best work! (less)
I have to say, this book really challenged me in the review department because I can't really fit this book neatly into one primary genre. This book i...moreI have to say, this book really challenged me in the review department because I can't really fit this book neatly into one primary genre. This book is definately Christian Fiction, but not your mama's Cfiction! It's teen Christian Fiction - younger teens primarily in the first half, but older teens would enjoy the second half. It also has YA Paranormal appeal because of the contemporary setting and good/evil angel battles. It definately has a refreshing approach to battling evil in fiction.
Megan starts seeing a glow around a camp counselor only to find out he's an angel. Not only does she have the gift to see good angels, she can also see dark angels. Because of her gift - the dark angels are after her. When school starts, she meets dark angel, Jude who wants company in his eternal lake of fire. Jude is posing as a student and doing everything he can to influence other students to make bad choices - some that eventually lead to death and eternity with him. Fortunately for Megan, she meets Johnny, a good angel also posing as a student, and forms a team of Christian friends that together come up with strategies to save their friends before Jude destroys them.
What stood out the most to me was the sheer creepiness of the evil - definately felt like I should wear something like an enormous cross necklace. Just kidding! I know you can't fight evil with jewelry (unless you are into vampires), but it would be a good reminder of who can overcome evil barehanded and blindfolded.
Megan - oh if I ever had a daughter I hope she'd be just like Megan! But for a main character I felt she was a little too perfect to relate to most of the time. Jude's character was very well written - his mannerisms, his sly tricks to get people to do his work and his brazen attack on Megan's character made me want to keep my eyes on him at all times and even after I put the book down I felt like he could be just around the corner.
The biggest surprise was the cliffhanger ending. Angel in the Shadows is currently in the top 20 for teen fiction at Amazon! Be watching for seven more books in the series - one every three months to satisfy readers of Christian fiction, Teen Christian Fiction and YA Paranormal lit. I have a feeling book two, Angel in the Storm, will be even more exciting. You can find Angel in the Shadows at Amazon and become an Angel-Friend of Lisa Grace at lisagracebooks(dot)com. I give Angel in the Shadows four**** angel-glow stars!
Okay, I love to gush about good books but this time you're getting a geyser!
Author P.J. Hoover has written a thrilling, twisting-turning story about...moreOkay, I love to gush about good books but this time you're getting a geyser!
Author P.J. Hoover has written a thrilling, twisting-turning story about Greek gods living in the near future - two of which are fighting for the love of Piper. Piper's seemingly dull, sheltered life erupts into a fast-paced journey back and forth between the Underworld and her present-day teenage life. To say it was a journey of self-discovery is putting it mildly. P.J. Hoover BLASTS you with a shocking surprise about her main character and has you wondering night and day if she'll end up with Shayne or will Reese trick her into his arms? Oh, wait - maybe Reese is who she should be with? Idunno - I'm with Piper, one minute I'm certain, the next not sure. All of creation depends on her choice. And for you adult-teenagers that love YA, Hoover ads just enough steam to keep the romance real and earth-crackin' hot.
And the settings - the seemingly-dystopian world (or is it really suffering a dystopian effect?) Piper keeps you imagining the heat, the protective domes over the city, and the urgency of seeking shelter from the sudden heat waves all give your imagination a work-out. Add to it the other happy/creepy she visits to the Underworld and you will be in fiction-opia yourself!
And the Mythology - while I don't worship Zeus, I always loved Mythology - aren't they really just stories that we share with centuries past? Strong characters built in- imaginative stories passed on for generations to enjoy. I love that P.J. Hoover has resuscitated them and brought them new life - making them relevant in modern times. A refreshing change from vampires and dystopia.
An added thumbs up to the fantastic writing here. She kept me so engaged - I read this on my phone! This was my first experience reading an e-book through and I read it everywhere - at baseball practice, at work during lunch, and even after work at 1:30AM. Dr. Seuss would have write a rhyme about me! I can't believe I got this much entertainment out of a $2.99 download that took me only seconds to purchase.
I can't say it enough don't throw away another $4.99 to rent a movie - download this book! Your summer reading list is begging you to put the cherry on top!
I give Solstice 5 stars ***** in Orion's belt!
You can find Solstice at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and RootsInMyth (pjhoover.blogspot.com) Also, if you are like me and can't get enough - you can sign up to receive a scannable trading card with story-extras. We're talking fun now! You have got to see these cards! Tanni (creepy-girl) and the beautiful Chloe and her beaus Shayne and Reese and more. See RootsInMyth at pjhoover.blogspot.com for a chance to receive a card. (less)
This volume by Jacqueline West, The Shadows, is first in the series of Elsewhere. Right away - loved the cover. If you see it in person, the cover act...moreThis volume by Jacqueline West, The Shadows, is first in the series of Elsewhere. Right away - loved the cover. If you see it in person, the cover actually reflects light and looks like it's glowing. The drawing is a perfect likeness to Olive, the main character. Each illustration is a mix of creepiness and adorability.
I am amazed by Jacquline West and her ability to pack in multiple story lines, adventure and several twists with a few heapfuls of angst in 241 pages. She tells the tale of Olive Dunwoody moving into her family's first home - the McMartin mansion. This is no ordinary creepy old house - it's a keeper of secret portals disguised as paintings. Olive discovers a pair of enchanted spectacles that allow the paintings to come to life when she looks through them and even enters them. Olive meets a distraught boy, Morton, in a painting of her own street and works to free him. Olive battles the evil that lurks in the paintings in a way that parallels Christianity. In order to explain that comparison I'd have to spoil the story so I'll just leave the ending for you to discover.
I loved Olive's spunkiness in this story. When she battles evil old Aldous McMartin, she stubbornly tells him, "I am not afraid of you," and later "Is that supposed to be scary? Because it isn't." Even when he induces the feeling of spiders covering her body, causing her stomach to lurch, she simply tells herself This isn't real, this isn't real, this isn't real. In today's world of catastrophes and powers that be, who wouldn't want to be like Olive?
The best part of the story was how she threw in twists early into the story line as well as in the middle and end. The story never sagged and was full of surprises. Olive's predicament is resolved, but not the entire big picture, leaving the door wide open for a sequel but not to the extreme that it weakens the book. The only thing I didn't care and took my by surprise was the dark elements of witches discussed by the cats. The sequel gives a hint to potions and such. I may decide not to read the sequel if it's based on dark arts, but will be anxious to check out any works by Jacqueline West.
I would recommend this book for upper-middle grade because of the scary elements.
I first saw this cover on author Shannon Whitney Messenger's blog (http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blog...) and hoped I'd win her Middle-Grade-Monday...moreI first saw this cover on author Shannon Whitney Messenger's blog (http://ramblingsofawannabescribe.blog...) and hoped I'd win her Middle-Grade-Monday ARC giveaway and Viola! Where do those windy stairs lead? What are all those unusual things lining the walls? A Museum for Thieves? Ingriguing!
It's rare to find a middle grade book written about young children overcoming dystopian societies. What I loved most about this book is that it features both boy and girl characters as strong, important individuals that hold each other up when faced with adversity. Even though the main character is a girl, the boy character is not far behind in importance and heroism.
Can you imagine being leashed to your parents any time you leave the house? Or can you imagine walking up a flight of stairs that eventually lead you to and underground city with portals to other times and places?
I loved how Lian Tanner connects you to the story by including the story of Broo and the children's curiousity and love for the dog. The bonding scene where Goldie and Toad spit get into a mud-slinging fight was fabulous. I found that the best part of the story was how the children went from being something to control, to deliverers. Their abilities were apparent to an adult character before their final act of heroism.
"No!" said Ma. "It's much too dangerous!"
"She's right. I forbid it!" shouted the Protector.
Sinew laughed and whacked the Protector on the back in a friendly fashion. "forbid it all you like! I swear they'll go anyway, the minute you take your eyes off them! And besides, we need them. They're quick and they're clever. We won't get the area cleared without them."
This was a great adventure, far surpassing many middle-grade works. I only had a problem with the names in the book: brizzlehound, Sinew, Broo,Olga Ciavolga,and Goldie. They were like stumbling blocks in the reading for me. I did love the name Toad-Spit and how he got it. It doesn't mean that middle-grade readers won't enjoy the names, though.
The epilogue was fantastic as well and had me laughing out loud. It was a fun surprise reading about what became of the two figures that were in the glass dome of the Great Hall during the flood.
For a middle-grade adventure I give this book ***** 5 stars!