UPDATE: I decided to see the movie, mainly to check if it would change my perception of the book. Unfortunately, it didn't. I loved everything about...more UPDATE: I decided to see the movie, mainly to check if it would change my perception of the book. Unfortunately, it didn't. I loved everything about the movie except the storyline, costumes, and the way it portrayed Katniss's love life. I wish I could say I feel differently about the book - because I really, really, REALLY wanted to like it- but I just can't. Sorry. ------ First of all, I know you're looking at my rating and wondering what's wrong with me. For one thing, this book's gotten at least 4 stars from everyone else. For another, everyone seems to think that it's the best book of the year. I won't dispute what everyone else has said about this book, because it's not a complete disaster. It's just that it's one of the worst novels I've ever read. The story begins great. I love the dystopian setting, even if it is a bit unrealistic. Katniss is a great protagonist - although, I'm getting tired of reading books where the main characters have just the right skills (say, archery) to persevere right through to the end. It's rather cliche by now. But other than that, the author really sets the scene and develops her characters well. I have to say that my favorite part (I'm sure it's almost everybody's favorite part) occurs when Katniss shoots her arrow in the judges' direction. It was a great move, even if she didn't think so (which I found surprising - why did she cry over it? She must have known it would score her more points with the judges). It was during the actual competition that the book hit a rift and sunk into a landslide. No offense, but none of it was appealing to me - the wasps, the romance, the danger. Everything, from Katniss's first spring into the trees to the final scene when the remaining two tributes defy the Games, was unnecessary and revolting. It's not the murders that disappointed me; I went into the story knowing that at least twenty people would die in the book. No, what truly revolted me was that the competition was meant to be entertaining - not just to the vain audiences in the corrupted society, but to us readers, as well. So much of it was written in a way that we would find it appealing... imagine, finding death appealing. To be fair, I know that the book is supposed to serve as a warning, and in some respects, I think it did. But then I remember everyone recommending this book to me ("It's good, you've got to read it!" "It's so cool!" "You'll love it! It has adventure and suspense!") and it makes me sick. I am in no way trying to insult the author (who obviously has talent) or the people who love this book (many of whom are my friends), but I can honestly tell you that I would never recommend this book to anyone without regretting it. To me, it's like one of those shows that medieval people used to put on, where a person would be trapped in a cage so that a tiger could kill him in front of a laughing audience.(less)
Trevin is soon to be a comain, or knight of Camrithia. Instead o...more4.5 Stars
It's never too late for second chances.
This is what you call stellar fantasy.
Trevin is soon to be a comain, or knight of Camrithia. Instead of bowing to the evil Dregmoorians as he once did, he vows to protect Camrithia against them. For once, all of his plans seem clear. He and his brother, Dwin, have a new purpose. And even though he hasn't yet found a way to be with his true love - the princess Melaia - forever, at least he can prove his worth to her and her father through his service.
That is, until the Dregmoorian prince Varic arrives, bestowing pleasantries on the King while secretly trying to win Camrithia as his own. His plan: to marry Princess Melaia. There's no way Trevin will let that happen.
But Varic isn't the only problem. The other Camrithian comains have mysteriously disappeared, and King Laetham expects Trevin to find them. And Melaia adds her own priority to his to-do list: to find two mythical harps and unite them with hers to reopen the stairway to heaven, which no one else has been able to do.
It's not exactly the type of quest Trevin has in mind, but he faces it head-on - and meets both friends and enemies along the way.
What I loved most about this book were Trevin's friends. He meets a lot of different people on the road - princes (not just bad ones), innkeepers, downtrodden knights, an Oracle, and even the occasional angel. Karyn brings each of their personalities to life.
The prince's bravado reminded Trevin of Dwin, but while Dwin hurled himself into action, Prince Resarian hurled himself into words.
Who could forget a bard who loves to tale stories or a young prince who can't wait to make his mark in the world?
But don't forget about the mythology behind the story. The angels, mythical harps, winged horses, and unfulfilled prophecies all reflect Karyn Henley's underlying message that no matter how crazy life can be, forgiveness can always be found in the eye of the sword.
Look no further if you want to read about honor, fear, destiny, and bravery. This is a story about eternal friendship and fighting for the right cause. I had very few problems with this book - actual, none at all - and I'd recommend it to anyone.
** I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah, as a part of their Blogging for Books program. **(less)
I decided to read this after my mom recommended it to me. It's an enchanting story about a cricket who comes to New York. He and his friends, Tucker M...moreI decided to read this after my mom recommended it to me. It's an enchanting story about a cricket who comes to New York. He and his friends, Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat, help out a local family. There were a lot of great parts and I'd recommend it to any kid.
The only thing I didn't really like about the book was how unrealistic the animals were. They ate meat, drank sodas, and kept their cool in dangerous situations. (I could understand Harry doing that, but not a mouse or a cricket.) However, these don't make the story any less appealing; and after all, it's children's fiction.(less)
It's a paradox, really, how a book can be loved by so many and still be hated by just as many. For this reason, some people have compared it...more3.5 Stars
It's a paradox, really, how a book can be loved by so many and still be hated by just as many. For this reason, some people have compared it to the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games, but in truth, it's not really like either of these, both of which for the most part earn positive reviews. Instead, Twilight is surrounded by quite a bit of controversy.
As for me, I can't seem to figure out whether I like it or not.
There's no question of Twilight's influence on modern literature. Since its release, both vampiric and paranormal novel publication has been on the rise. The movies alone have topped box office charts. And almost everyone has discussed the book at some point.
And why not? This book is thrilling, captivating...
And also a little annoying, to be honest.
While Bella has her merits, she's not the best protagonist. Easily offended, quick to assume, and not a great decision-maker, either. It's hard to get accustomed to a narrator who insists on tripping over anything that blocks her path.
But if anything, all of these traits just make her a better match for Edward, who is controlling, quick to anger, and not a great guy to have around when you're trying to hide your thoughts (at least if you're not Bella). He reminds me of an extreme Mr. Rochester (from Jane Eyre) - always brooding.
To me, their relationship is anything but mutual. Yes, they love and care about each other; and yes, they're a cute couple, even when they argue. But with his brooding nature and her stubbornness, I don't think they're the best boyfriend/girlfriend role models.
Which is why, I think, I never quite liked the movies, either.
However, I won't give up on this book so easily. It was the ending that turned my thoughts around.
This is partly because I met Edward's family. Up until then, I had wandered aimlessly from page to page, rolling my eyes at the awkward conversations Bella and Edward shared. (Honestly, how could Edward interrogate Bella relentlessly for days on end like an FBI agent?)
But as soon as Alice, Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, and Jasper (maybe not Rosalie), I knew the book could only get better.
I had finally found a group of people who knew what was going on and didn't make quick, rash decisions. They stuck with Bella like family and surprised me by being funny and supportive, yet also violent and protective. They were way better than Bella's other friends (hmm...) and much better than Bella and Edward themselves.
With Alice and Jasper along for the ride, I breezed through Bella's escape to Arizona - and even her perilous decision to meet James. (This was actually a pretty smart idea on Bella's part, for once. How could she have known that her mother was still safe in Florida?) Better than waiting around for Edward to come get her.
Moreover, I enjoyed learning the history behind Edward's family. I had only watched the "Twilight" movies, so I had no idea how Rosalie and Emmett had met, nor that Alice's past was so mysterious. It was interesting to read a little about their background.
Overall, Twilight was an aggravation that turned into something just short of a masterpiece (at least for me). I don't think I could have finished it without ever having seen the movie. I would have reached page 200 and thought, "300 more pages of this? No way!" and tossed it aside. But I'm glad I kept reading, because the end of the book really rounded out some of its bitter moments.(less)
What We Learned from "Thor" (skip if you remember the movie) - The universe consists of nine realms. - The gods live in Asgard, humans live in Midgard,...more
What We Learned from "Thor" (skip if you remember the movie) - The universe consists of nine realms. - The gods live in Asgard, humans live in Midgard, and the Ice Giants live in Jotunheim. - The nine realms are connected by the roots/branches of a tree called Yggdrasill. - Odin is the Allfather, or most powerful. - Thor is Odin's son and the god of thunder. - Sif is one of the warriors from the movie. - Loki is... well, you know who he is. The most cunning villain of all time.
This is what Marvel showed you. But did you also know...?
... the other six realms are just as interesting as the first three. - There's Alfheim, which is home to light elves. - Vanaheim was once home to a host of gods called the Vanir, until they joined the gods in Asgard (after the two realms fought a war, of course). - Another realm, Nidavellir, is home to dwarves. - The dark elves live in Svartalfheim. - Finally, there are Niflheim, the world of the dead, and Hel, realm of the dead. You can see an image of all of the realms here.
... how Odin became so wise. The price might sound pretty high, but Odin was willing to pay it. He gave up his eye to drink from a spring of wisdom. ... that Odin had spies bringing him news. The god kept two ravens, Huginn ('Thought') and Muninn ('Memory'), which he sent out to the other realms. And according to IMDb, you might have seen them in "The Avengers". If you didn't see them, watch it again! ;)
... Thor was really for the people. Unlike Odin, who represented the higher class (nobles and warriors), Thor was the patron of the peasants (middle class). ... Jane Foster didn't have a happily-ever-after after all. Thor actually married Sif, the warrior we saw in "Thor". Sorry, movie fans, I had to break it to you. :( ... Thor and Loki actually were good friends - once in a while. In his retelling of the myth "Thor and Geirrod", the author notes that "Thor and Loki had a great liking for each other's company, and often travelled together through the nine worlds."
(But don't trust Loki just yet. He's always up to some trick or another...)
... Sif has a long history of disputes with Loki. One night, Loki stole into Sif's room and cut off her beautiful golden hair. As you can imagine, Thor made sure he received the punishment he deserved.
... Loki was actually Odin's foster-brother. It's surprising but true. That would make him Thor's uncle - but not technically. He's still the son of two Frost Giants. (Personally, I prefer Marvel's family dynamics better.) ... Loki's eyes can turn Christmas colors. You can always tell when Loki's scheming in Norse myths because his eyes turn different colors - usually red and green, but sometimes brown or blue. ... the children of Loki were fearsome. Loki fathered a serpent, a wolf named Fenrir, and a seeress who dwells in Hel. Thor makes light of this in a joke one night, when they are walking together. "'We must at least find somewhere to stay for the night,' said Loki. 'I wouldn't care to end up as carrion.' "'Is Fenrir's father so afraid of wolves?' said Thor, and smiled to himself."
... Thor's hammer existed because of Loki's trickery. Loki tricked two dwarves of Nidavellir into making three gifts for the gods. It was treachery, but if he hadn't, Thor wouldn't have received Mjollnir. Ironic, isn't it? ... Thor didn't have to hold his hammer throughout "The Avengers"; he could've put it in his pocket. At least, that's what he did in the myths. The dwarf, Brokk, who made the hammer crafted it so that Thor could "make it small enough to tuck inside [his] shirt." ... a Frost Giant once stole Mjollnir. It's true. A giant named Thrym took Thor's hammer and hid it deep inside the earth. In order to get it back, Thor, Heimdall, Loki (suprisingly), and some of the other gods put together a plan. I won't tell you what it is, but I'll just say that it was very unique. Thor eventually won Mjollnir back.
But that's not all... The Norse Myths contains thirty-two myths full of valor, cunning, and (of course) violence. I ommitted a lot of the stories because I didn't want to spoil the fun for you.
As for me... I was interested in reading Norse myths because I wanted to see how much of "Thor" was true. It turns out that there are a lot of differences, but the main themes exist in both the myths and the Marvel movie. Thor, of course, is still a protector; Loki's - well - Loki; and so on.
I only wish that I'd chosen a different retelling. While Crossley-Holland relates the story in a clear, easy-to-follow manner, he himself admitted that he tweaked some of the stories. I sometimes wondered how much was true and how much he imagined himself. I also wish he had provided more details in the actual stories, instead of just in the Introduction and Notes sections.
For this - and because Norse mythology can be extremely odd - I'm giving the book a 3.75 stars.
Final Remarks - I've watched (and loved!) both "Thor" (2011) and "The Avengers" (2012). All of the non-movie stuff in this review comes from The Norse Myths. - I used the author's spellings, so some of the words might look different from what you remember. For instance, I think we would write 'Mjolnir', but his is 'Mjollnir.' - All of the images (except the banner at the top) are property of their respective owners. I do not claim ownership of them.(less)
The best devotional I've found for teen girls. It doesn't just cover dating and school, like some others do. Elizabeth speaks from experience and give...moreThe best devotional I've found for teen girls. It doesn't just cover dating and school, like some others do. Elizabeth speaks from experience and gives great advice.(less)
It's funny that you can read hundreds of books and still pick out the few that you love the most. The ones that you won't ever forget.
The Chronicles o...moreIt's funny that you can read hundreds of books and still pick out the few that you love the most. The ones that you won't ever forget.
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci have led me on the most amazing, most magical journeys I've ever embarked on. (After Harry Potter, of course.) I have discovered an enchanted castle with Cat, traveled to distant worlds with Christopher, cast spells with Tonino, mended a splitting world with Charles, defied the odds with Conrad, and broken an old enchantment with Cat and Marianne.
Who knew dragon's blood and screaming earrings could show up in the same series? How about magic carpets and a box of matches? Old cats and cats that have been turned into fiddles?
Diana wove just about every piece of magic in the world into a colorful tapestry. At one end, there's a power-hungry witch controlling her far more powerful brother. At the other, there's an ever-changing manor full of busy servants and rich impostors. All the while, there's a Chrestomanci who can control all of the magic in the world - but who has limits of his own.
Whatever you're looking to read about, this series has got it. So why don't you give it a shot? It might just change your life, too. (less)
This volume contains THE MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA and WITCH WEEK. The first book is pretty interesting; upon rereading it, I understood a lot more than I...moreThis volume contains THE MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA and WITCH WEEK. The first book is pretty interesting; upon rereading it, I understood a lot more than I did the first time. WITCH WEEK is more enjoyable (in my opinion, of course) and stirring towards the end. It's the source for most of my favorite quotes.(less)