Reviewing one’s all time favorite books sounds like a daunting and near impossible task, but I am going to try it anyways. However, with all of the mo Reviewing one’s all time favorite books sounds like a daunting and near impossible task, but I am going to try it anyways. However, with all of the movies coming out, I’ve been re-reading the books, and every time I read them they get better and better. If you have not read the Harry Potter series, run, don’t walk, to your nearest library or bookstore, pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and get ready to have your mind blown.
Rowling is a genius when it comes to world-building. I would say it’s what I love most about these novels, but they are so brilliant that’s impossible to say. Rowling has created an elaborate wizard school, but also a huge world outside where goblins work at banks and there is a ministry of magic. I mean, Hogwarts is a character in and of itself. Things like her talking about what kind of snacks her characters eat, how the mail is delivered and the poem inside of Gringotts makes it obvious how much attention she’s paid to minute details. Not only Rowling’s world incredibly well built, it’s also a world I would love to live in. The ability to do magic? Quirky snacks? Magical creatures? Um, yes please!
Harry is on the cusp of adolescence as the book begins, and I have to say that I love Harry. He has a true sense of right and wrong, even though he was brought up amongst some of the most deplorable fictional characters ever. He’s far from perfect, though, often getting himself and his friends in trouble, and that’s what I loved about him when I was young. It was great to see a teenager who was so realistic.
A lot of characters in the Harry Potter series are like onions. They are well-developed in the first book, but we see more and more layers of each of them as the series progresses. I love Hermione because she’s a bookworm. I love Ron because he can be kind of awkward, but definitely has some great witty remarks. And Fred and George crack me up every. Single. Time. What an awesome duo. If I told you about all of the characters I loved and why, we’d be here all day.
Rowling’s prose isn’t particularly literary, yet it always kept me invested in the story. She peppered in just the right amount of humor, knows how to keep the suspense running high and makes the Gryffindor common room sound incredibly cozy. I can’t pinpoint what it is I love about her writing, I just know that I love it.
I’m not sure if I’d call this a review so much as a gushfest. I could spend hours and hours honing this review and still not touch on everything I love about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The best part is that the series only gets better from here....more
So good. I really liked it. I thought the pacing was awkward during some parts of the book, but I also got the closure I wanted at the end of the bookSo good. I really liked it. I thought the pacing was awkward during some parts of the book, but I also got the closure I wanted at the end of the book....more
The last book of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series. It's so good! Of course all of the old characters are back, separated for the summer.The last book of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series. It's so good! Of course all of the old characters are back, separated for the summer. I thought it was a really great way to end the series....more
The interesting part of this book was the characters. I actually thought the plot was kind of weak and the style was kind of frustrating. However, itThe interesting part of this book was the characters. I actually thought the plot was kind of weak and the style was kind of frustrating. However, it was cute....more
This book is based off of myth of Shaharazad (sp?). It's written for young adults, one I'd had on my shelf but never read before. The plot and the chaThis book is based off of myth of Shaharazad (sp?). It's written for young adults, one I'd had on my shelf but never read before. The plot and the characters are both very well done, but since the style is meant for like seventh graders I wouldn't call it amazing....more
An intriguing novel filled with obscure characters. I enjoyed this book, although I thought it was exceptionally odd and maybe could have used more deAn intriguing novel filled with obscure characters. I enjoyed this book, although I thought it was exceptionally odd and maybe could have used more development. For me it was largely about the main character's relationships, how he defined those relationships and what that said about him as a character. It is also somewhat of a commentary on non-conformity. A good read overall....more
I know, I know the Gossip Girl books are not the most intellectual but they happen to serve as my literary guilty pleasure and I was forced to spend 3I know, I know the Gossip Girl books are not the most intellectual but they happen to serve as my literary guilty pleasure and I was forced to spend 3 hours on an airplane this morning (I at least only read like 2 or 3 of these books in a calendar year). For those unfamiliar with Gossip Girl, these novels are about the lives of very, very spoiled and rich high school teenagers who go to private schools in New York city. As I read this book, I kept on feeling like I was watching several of the characters make poor decisions. That said, the plot actually moved along at a good clip making this a quick fun read that I didn't want to put down until I'd finished (I started this last night and finished it this afternoon). An overall enjoyable read....more
When I put down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time, my first thought was, “That was a really good book. Wow!” I was pretty happyWhen I put down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time, my first thought was, “That was a really good book. Wow!” I was pretty happy to have Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to move on to right away. This one pulled me right away and had me laughing harder and gasping more loudly than before. J.K. Rowling has done it again, and the series only gets better and better after this.
While some series may suffer from a sophomore slump, this is not the case with Chamber of Secrets. Even before our heroes arrive at Hogwarts, this sequel is completely action packed. From chapter one Rowling has the reader asking questions and wanting to know more. Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys all find themselves back at Hogwarts this year, but this time they have the youngest Weasley, Ginny, in tow.
Of course, given the ending of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, not everything is perfect at Hogwarts. The danger in this novel is palpable and the stakes are higher. Rowling does an excellent job of developing each of her characters more without overloading the reader with information. Part of the reason why I love this book is because we get the opportunity to know the entire Weasley family better. I would jump at the chance to and live in The Burrow. I also feel like we get to know a lot of Hufflepuffs individually in Chamber of Secrets, which I thought was kind of cool, because they didn’t get a whole lot of love in Sorcerer’s Stone.
Can I conclude by saying how awesome the climax in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is? J.K. Rowling created a brilliant puzzle, and I didn’t quite put all of the pieces together when I first read the book. Every time I look back I appreciate how well-crafted the story is. The best part is that with every installment the world-building becomes more intricate and I rarely spot inconsistencies....more
It has definitely been a while since I read Speak, but I I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you in the spirit of Speak Loudly. I have a hard timIt has definitely been a while since I read Speak, but I I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you in the spirit of Speak Loudly. I have a hard time imagining anyone who’s been to high school reading this book and make it through the entire thing without thinking, even if only for a split second, that he or she could relate to Melinda’s story in some way. Anderson tackles many tough subjects, and does so with eloquence.
Melinda is not an easy character to read about. I definitely got frustrated with her at times, and wanted to tell her to stand up for herself. However, she definitely had her moments of wit and humor, which I enjoyed but also added a few lighter moments to an otherwise very tough book. I particularly enjoyed listening to her talk about all of her peers.
Yet like I said earlier, one of my favorite parts of this book is the themes, because so many people, kids and adults, feel the pressure to do what it takes to fit in. This isn’t a theme that’s relevant only when I read the book, or only to teens who are reading it now. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t see concerns about fitting in and standing up for yourself disappearing from life for quite some time.
Speak is a fantastic novel about dealing with trauma in the context of a high school life. Laurie Halse Anderson does so beautifully and honestly, which is why I’m fighting to keep this book on the shelves. I’ll be ensuring that my local library has a copy, and ask my local independent book store to regularly stock it....more
After all of the hype about this book, I wanted to read it to find out what exactly everyone was so enthusiastic about. It's not meant to be a great wAfter all of the hype about this book, I wanted to read it to find out what exactly everyone was so enthusiastic about. It's not meant to be a great work of literature, and I would like to note that in this review, I'm not trying to compare Twilight to the classics or any other book. As I read this book, I enjoyed the story enough, but am giving it a rather low rating because I didn't particularly enjoy the writing or the narration. However, I'm really curious to find out what will happen, and I've also heard that New Moon is better, so I do intend to continue reading the series.
Temptation and the idea of being different are both very important concept in this novel, and Meyer talks a lot about these in the context of the high school in Forks. I have to say that at times, I felt like Meyer shared every minute detail of the high school drama (who likes who, etc.), and grew a bit tired of that at times. I also didn't really like the fact that the story didn't really pick up until the last 100 pages. However, I did really like how she wrote about ideas of how vampires were formed and the American Indian legends surrounding vampires.
Another thing that bothered me about the plot is that Bella kept saying how in love she was with Edward. However, she only seemed to talk about how gorgeous and perfect he was. My personal opinion is that one tends to fall in love with someone based on more than looks and with the knowledge that the other person isn't perfect. There were also moments where Edward was kind of controlling of Bella and he wouldn't explain why at first, and at the time I had kind of a hard time relating to this because as I read, I was thinking, "Uh, at this point, I would be really wary and not overly trusting of this guy!" I'll be interested to see how Edward and Bella's relationship and views of each other transform throughout the rest of the series.
I also thought that Bella was kind of a whiny and over the top narrator. There was a lot of angst, and although everyone goes through that phase (I know I did), it did start to get old after a couple hundred pages. I also felt that sometimes the way Bella expressed herself was a little over the top. When I think about it more, I feel that because I disliked Bella and her voice as a narrator, I thought to myself, "I might enjoy Meyer's writing style more if it was told through a different character/narration."
On one last side note, in the end of this edition there are some discussion questions, one of them revolves around the fact that this is supposedly based off of Pride and Prejudice. Although I can see that they are both romantic comedies, I felt that in each work the characters wound up where they were at the end for very different reasons.
I hate to say it, but I am a little addicted, being drawn into the storyline :) I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the next book!...more