Well, this is not as good as the original Amalee. The characters are all there and still quirky, but they feel more forced than anything.
In this storyWell, this is not as good as the original Amalee. The characters are all there and still quirky, but they feel more forced than anything.
In this story Amalee inherits a big bottle of coins from the grandmother she barely knew, and decides to make a film about conservation with the money. While this plot is touching, the family friends who were so unique and supporting in the first book came off as a little annoying in this one.
The sense of urgency which made the first so gripping is also missing.
Still Amalee's voice is fresh and honest in a world of fluffy girly books which capitalize on terms like, "OMG!!!!!!!!"
Read the first, this is optional but not bad....more
A solid 4 stars. If I was pitching this book I would say its, "'Hunger Games' meets 'Children of Men' with a touch of 'Ender's Game'...WITH MUTANTS."
ThA solid 4 stars. If I was pitching this book I would say its, "'Hunger Games' meets 'Children of Men' with a touch of 'Ender's Game'...WITH MUTANTS."
This fast paced read begins with your standard dystopian society after a horrific event called, "The Animal Plague" which caused all of nature to be destroyed and people to live in squalor behind a wall. We are introduced to Ellie and Mika. A set of twins, who had been separated when the government kidnaped Ellie for nefarious reasons which are only eluded to. We follow her brother Mika as he navigates the dangerous games the government have set up in the guise of entertainment for he and his peers. As Mika discovers the truth about Ellie and the world in which he lives and learns about friendship in the wake of horrific events.
While it is a mish mash of a bunch of different Sci Fi theme, the book was very compelling. I found myself cursing silently when I had to put the book down. I can't wait for a sequel....more
I was very intrigued that Dar Williams, a songstress favorite from my, "chick with guitar" days had written tween fiction, and what a tre3.75-4 stars.
I was very intrigued that Dar Williams, a songstress favorite from my, "chick with guitar" days had written tween fiction, and what a treat it was.
Amalee is a young girl who fancies herself one of a group of children. The other children are actually physical adults who as close friends of her father helped to raise her since her mother left them when Amalee was an infant and died in an accident a few years later.
While Amalee becomes exasperated by this group from time to time. John is an unhappy waiter who is always claiming he is actually a chef and will quit his job to open a restaurant. Caroline likes talking about herself... a lot. Joyce is a 40 year old therapist who wants a boyfriend and a baby. Phyllis is her dad's friend since grade school who works at her new middle school. Then there is David Emerly, Amalee's father, a professor.
When David falls gravely ill the big goofy kids must grow up and support Amalee through this trying time. While the illness of her father is bad enough Amalee finds her transition to 6th grade less than smooth.
"6th grade is meaner, even I am meaner" She states with brutal honesty. When this backfires, Amalee opts to shut herself off from her peers.
While Amalee discovers the difference between friends and frienemies, she also discovers that the other adults in her life are all quite extraordinary in one way or another, and so is she.
I won't give too much a way but this is a nice read for any tween who wants non fluffy realistic fiction about a girl. ...more
Its not that I can say that I enjoyed this book, or even that it was eye opening so much as well written and thorough.
I left with a feeling that whileIts not that I can say that I enjoyed this book, or even that it was eye opening so much as well written and thorough.
I left with a feeling that while I understood Eric Harris' status as a psycho path, Dylan Klepold's post-mort diagnosis as a depressive who fell in with the wrong best friend seemed a little unfinished. There had to be something other than just depression. The description of the basement tapes alone imply that.
The depiction of how the media twisted the crimes into an anti Christian massacre and that of two bullied outcasts was very well described. The truth about the Trench Coat Mafia was also nicely presented.
While I finished feeling that I knew more about what happened, I can't say I understood how this can be prevented. I remember plenty of kids in high school who seemed to fit the profile of these boys, but it seemed to be a passing teen angst/image thing. While the police should have taken Harris' antics more seriously way before he began shooting, his "I Hate" website rants though angry wouldn't have initially struck me as anything too frightening. I'm pretty sure myself and a bunch of other high school kids had at one point made a list of things we "hated", after having a bad day or a bad week. But the question is how strong was that "hate" and who really categorized a passing dislike for seething horrific murderous hatred. Hate is a word thats thrown around too lightly. Do we take every teen who claims to "hate" various random things as a possible Columbine-esque shooter? Thats hard to say.
So yes, well written and interesting, but still somewhat puzzling. I feel badly for Dylan's parents. Eric's seem like they could have taken some things more seriously other than blaming the victims of his threats and pranks....more
If this book was a movie, I would watch the commercials and secretly think about how much I wanted to see it, but I would never admit it to a3.5 Stars
If this book was a movie, I would watch the commercials and secretly think about how much I wanted to see it, but I would never admit it to anyone. I would wait for it to come out on a Premium Channel and watch it alone when no one was home. If anyone came in while said movie was on, I would dive across the bed/couch or whatever and change the channel before they knew what I was doing. I would probably wish I had the DVD to watch when I was in a bad mood, but be too afraid anyone would see it on my shelves.
That said, this was an entertaining if not intentionally cheesy book ala Mean Girls meets some other trendy teen flick I have pretended not to have seen a million times. Long story short, Margarita or Madge as she is known by her obligatory gay best friend Lucas lives in Winter Park Florida which is a suburb of Orlando. She is a confident and attractive overweight Latina girl who had been a child actress for Disney with her childhood best friend Brigit, until blonde Brigit got a role in a TV show Madge thought she had in the bag. While Madge insists she was not upset Brigit got the role, we learn through her actions in the story that she is not being truthful to herself on that matter. Aside from this, Brigit never returned any of Margarita's phone calls after this incident leading Madge to hate her former best friend for ditching her. When Brigit leaves homeschooling to attend Winter Park High School, her fame skyrockets her to Queen Bee status. While Madge is generally liked by the student body of her high school, Brigit and she share a mutual dislike. This carries over to a drunken argument at a party where the two insult each other and vow to defeat one another in the race for Prom Queen. While Brigit has funds and publicity on her side, Madge needs to figure out what she has to win.
In the midst of this, Lucas, her best friend has broken up with his first real boyfriend whom Madge adored. He subsequently hooks up with the schools super senior gay man-whore who is implied to be dirty and gross. While I enjoyed this book as a non serious fun read, I found Margarita annoying at times. She had a need to control everything around her including the choices her friends made. She also had a bad habit of lying to herself about important matters, though this was key to character development later on in the story. In spite of this the book was light, silly and as colorful as the cover suggests. I would have liked to see a little more "all out war" on Madge's side, because Brigit was a real bitch in the battle, but it all worked out well enough in the end. Almost too well in fact.
This book is what teen comedies are made of. Topical humor which may seem dated in 5-10 years, a high school popularity contest and wealthy attractive people. The end was delivered wrapped up in a colorful box with a neat little bow which was almost too predictable, but comfortably so.
Please note, also I made a point of turning the cover over whenever my boyfriend was in the area to hide the title of what I was reading....more
Spoilers! * * * * * * * * * * * Ok, I did not need to see Jack Faust naked, but as far as Moore's usual scenes of that nature go it was quite tastefully done. I aSpoilers! * * * * * * * * * * * Ok, I did not need to see Jack Faust naked, but as far as Moore's usual scenes of that nature go it was quite tastefully done. I am no prude in general but I don't like it when an artist draws sex for the hell of drawing it, or for shock and it seems tacked on to the story and plot. Moore seems to do this a lot. Otherwise, another really great issue of Promethia. ...more
This book was beautifully illustrated and intriguing. I found this book to be one of my favorite and the most enjoyable Alan Moore graphic novels thusThis book was beautifully illustrated and intriguing. I found this book to be one of my favorite and the most enjoyable Alan Moore graphic novels thus far. The ideas behind it may be nothing new, but it felt fresh and was enjoyable. Moore started us off with an intriguing and believable forward about the history of the Promethia character. I was almost duped into thinking it was based on actual pulp novels and comics from the past. The art work blurred the lines between Art Nouveau, Psychedelia and Pulp.
I am, however, anticipating some typical Alan Moore graphic sex in some of the later books. He always tosses it in there somewhere....more
4.5 Stars. This was an interesting Graphic Novel which sort of hit all the notes that one may feel as an "outsider" in high school. A few people mentio4.5 Stars. This was an interesting Graphic Novel which sort of hit all the notes that one may feel as an "outsider" in high school. A few people mentioned in their reviews that they felt disconnected to the main character, but I felt that this was what made the book good. Because Kim/Skim wasn't quite sure where she fit she tried really hard to shift into the roles that Lisa, her fair weather best friend seemed to promote. As time goes on Kim grows to realize that Lisa contradicts herself and does not exactly enjoy being questioned when she does so.
Kim also ends up engaging in a false start relationship when a female teacher she idolizes kisses her.
Because of this abuse of authority Kim ends up heartbroken and even more lost and confused when the relationship is abruptly ended.
While Kim feels like an "outsider" at her school, I got the sense that she felt like an outsider in her own body, in her own friendship and later in what she thought was her first love. Because of this the character seems like a puzzle who's pieces are always shifting shape... but then again I can remember feeling this way myself when I was 16, so it felt all the more authentic.
The most enigmatic character in the book was Katie, a once popular girl who's life is seemingly shattered when her boyfriend first dumps her, and then kills himself. As the "in" clique tries to encircle Katie with positive life affirming thoughts and esteem boosters, we watch through Kim's eyes as Katie dissolves into a skeleton of her former self in her friends' self centered "care", we watch as Kim's own best friend changes her own feathers to flock with a new crowd. Katie's raw emotion pierces the static which encircles Kim and the rest of the narrative. Here is a young girl who is really misunderstood and hurting and no one takes the time to listen to what she needs.
By the end of the book you get a more hopeful sense that Kim is ready to figure herself out and that her journey has just begun as an old superficial friendship wains and a new honest one waxes.
The art work reminds me of old japanese wood cuttings, or the first manga as it is often referred.
3.5 Stars. This was a great book to follow fare such as Ella Enchanted, Goose Girl, Dragon Slipper and Princess Ben. It was well written and the main3.5 Stars. This was a great book to follow fare such as Ella Enchanted, Goose Girl, Dragon Slipper and Princess Ben. It was well written and the main character was easy to like. I wouldn't completely consider this book Fantasy, and that may have been where the book needed a little more development. I won't comment on that aspect too much however, in order to spare spoilers.
The author toys with Fairy Tale cliches and gives them her own spin which works nicely enough. Not a bad debut novel. These types of books are like comfort food to me....more
I *really really really really* wanted to like this book. Really, I did! I loved the title, so sexy and mysterious, I love that th2.5 (maybe? ) Stars.
I *really really really really* wanted to like this book. Really, I did! I loved the title, so sexy and mysterious, I love that the author did her research on fae folklore and wove it into the story like a modern tapestry with elements of the past... the writing was good... but I think it was the characters that truly killed this one for me.
First off, Aishlinn, annoyed the crap out of me. She was so self centered and whiney I just wanted to scream and shake her. She reminded me of those mopey girls in high school who had all of these boys falling all over her in suggestive embraces while she is a total tease. Oh wait, thats because she WAS that girl. I seriously couldn't see why guys were so into her or even why her friends liked her.
Now, I know some people have said that Bella in Twilight is self centered and whiney, and while that is true, at least Bella doesn't climb all over Edward and sit with his hips between her knees and then retract from a kiss. If we are going to continue with the Twilight comparisons, I have heard some people say that they think Edward's old fashioned-ness about sex would give girls unrealistic standards for an ideal/real boyfriend. While that may be true at least Edward had good reason. He was a vampire , and while it was a metaphor for abstinence, if he were to let his urges go to far with Bella he could literally kill her... in fact he does injure her during sex after they are lawfully wed.
Now while Aislinn is self centered and whiney, her human romantic interest Seth is far less of a realistic boyfriend figure than Edward could ever be. First off, while Edward was a vampire and could sleep in Bella's bed without trying anything on her, and always seemed to say exactly what girls would want to hear, he could also be an ass from time to time. Thats right. Humans, guys and girls can be jerks to one another, even if they are in love with the person they are being jerks to. It doesn't mean they aren't good for each other, but sometimes people get into moods and lash out, or say something sarcastic or are grouchy and act like jerks/bitches. In a realistic relationship this happens, people get pissed off and either they apologize and or talk/work it out or they break up, or they deal with it in some way. While Bella and Edward's dealing with Edward's dickery was melodramatic at times at least it existed.
Seth, Aislinn's 20 something year old pierced love interest was human. Nothing mystical just a human male who had an underage girl fawning all over him and he didn't make a move in 7 months of this? And then even after he makes a move he is quiet and patient and does what ever she wants even though in the past hes been a dirty man slut... but she's different. Yeah. Ok. Whatever. Edward may be a vampire but Seth is a manicorn. He. Does. Not. Exist. Here is how Seth and Ash's relationship plays out on every page:
Aislinn: Oh Seth, life is so hard! I can see faeries and they are stalking me. *rests her head on his shoulder* Seth: Aislinn, I will always be by your side you needn't worry darling. *dazzles her with his lip piercing and slides his hands around her waist* I totally believe that you see faeries by the way because you are so pretty and innocent and can't be crazy or anything. We are best friends *kisses her neck* Aislinn: *thinks.... "oh no! too much flirting!" and then wraps her legs around him* But Seth! What ever will I do, the faeries they won't leave me alone! *leans up as if to kiss him and then pulls away* Seth: Gee I don't know but why don't you stay here and not have sex with me. Or you can go out and play with that faerie dude you think is trying to have sex with you. I don't like it but I respect your freedom.
Whatever. I seriously hope young teens aren't reading this and romanticizing this as a real life possibility.
Any goth high school girl who thinks she can go down to the tattoo parlor and pick up some 25 year old ex man whore who will act as perfect as Seth while she gropes him will most likely be sadly mistaken. Seth had no personality other than being smitten with Aislinn and respecting her far more than a red blooded ex man whore would respect an underage school girl. It doesn't work like that sugar. Sorry. I don't buy it and therefore I am unable and unwilling to suspend my disbelief while reading this story.
Now, the FAERY characters are more human than the human characters. THAT I would have liked to learn more about. Keenan and Donia (who was the most fleshed out character in the book) could have been more the centerpiece of this novel. Less Aislinn and Seth and it could have been a lot better. So while the faerie world glowed with potential, the human world sank it.
I may try to read the second book in the series, Ink Exchange because the ideas behind it intrigue me. This one sort of made me want to put that off a bit. Melissa Marr is a good writer, but she needs to make her characters a bit more believable and likable....more
The first book was by far my favorite of the; "Two girls who have been best friends for years get split up when one gets involved in the popular crowdThe first book was by far my favorite of the; "Two girls who have been best friends for years get split up when one gets involved in the popular crowd and the other is more of an outcast" books.
This one was also very good. Not terribly predictable either and left you with a feeling of hopefulness for everyone....more
I am a big massive Jessica Day George fan, and while this book tied the series up in a few ways which I will not give away, I felt it lacked3.5 Stars.
I am a big massive Jessica Day George fan, and while this book tied the series up in a few ways which I will not give away, I felt it lacked a certain spark and freshness that the first two had.
Some characters felt tacked on as there was little build for them in previous books. As predictable as it may have been, I admit I would have liked to see Alle find love with Creel's brother. Again, this may have been predictable, but that kind of feel good addition I could have lived well with.
There is nothing wrong with this book... I liked it and I enjoyed it. Shardas and Velika and the rest of the dragons were cool. Creel was awesome. There seemed to be a bit more talk than action here. I just didn't LOVE it the way I loved the other two in the series....more
I love Jessica Day George. This was another winner. Taken from one of my favorite lesser known Grimms Fairy Tales, "The 12 Dancing Princesses".
GeorgeI love Jessica Day George. This was another winner. Taken from one of my favorite lesser known Grimms Fairy Tales, "The 12 Dancing Princesses".
George has a knack for creating strong female characters without weighing down the story with sandbags of overt political correctness and canned feminism. This story presents a refreshing departure from a typical fantasy hero. Galen is respectful, intelligent and he knits! The strongest female voice is that of Rose, the eldest princess and Galen's love interest.
One major complaint is that her 11 sisters often become a muddle of girls with flower names (yes, all the princesses have names of flowers). A few have distinct character traits, we know Hyacinth is devout and religious, Poppy is bubbly, Petunia is the youngest and Lily has a secret. The others sort of get lost in the shuffle, though when you look at the original story where 12 princesses had no personality at all and the clever soldier who saved them just picked the oldest to marry because, its not that bad.
Like all of George's stories, and like her peer, Shannon Hale, romance starts with friendship. It is not crushing and overwhelming as in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (Meyer, like George and Hale is a mormon author) nor is it superficial. You believe that these characters have fallen in love. It feels natural and right.
Also, there are a few loose ends which I felt should have been "knitted" back into the pattern of the story. I did, however get the feeling that there could be a door open for a sequel, so I will hope this comes about and my questions are answered.
Also, there are knitting patterns at the end of the story if you feel like making your own versions of some of Galen's enchanted works. I would probably impale myself with the needles if I tried, but you knitters out there should try and make Rose's shawl for yourself!