Torn between two and three stars on this one, but I'll be a kinder, gentler reader and give it three. The story was ok - I did like some of the charac...moreTorn between two and three stars on this one, but I'll be a kinder, gentler reader and give it three. The story was ok - I did like some of the characters, in particular Valerie, Peter, Grandmother and Claude - but the story has no sense of closure.
The townspeople are at one moment scared and the next fearless, at one moment cruel and heartless, and the next united against the obvious evil in their midst. Sounds interesting, right, and full of drama and mystery? The problem is, I just didn't buy it. Where were their motivations? They never really became clear other than at the most basic, surface-level.
And what of the over-hyped "love triangle?" Basically, it is non-existant. Valerie is constant in her affections for one man only, and I never felt any real tension in her character on that score.
The thing that bugged so many other reviewers - the complete lack of an ending or of any catharsis at all - also bothered me. I get it, you don't want us to know who the wolf is. But let me tell you something, I better find out when I go see the movie next month! If there is one thing I hate more than books with no endings, it is movies with no endings!
Ugh! I'm resisting the urge to scroll up and give this book 2 stars instead of 3 now. I'm just not sure it was worth my time. Hopefully it will pay off in a big way once I've seen the movie. Stay tuned...(less)
I enjoyed Need (the first book in the series,) and was eager to get my hands on Captivate. As soon as it was available at my library I snatched it up!...moreI enjoyed Need (the first book in the series,) and was eager to get my hands on Captivate. As soon as it was available at my library I snatched it up! I devoured it in just a couple of days and was not disappointed. I love the direction the story is taking and the Norse mythology surrounding the fairies added an interesting depth to Jones' fictional world.
Captivate is full of action - from page one - and has fantastic plot twists that kept this reader on the edge of her seat. The introduction of fascinating new characters as well as further development of favorite characters from Need, combine to make Captivate an exciting and well-written addition to this delightful series. (less)
Bird is a bewitching little story - as slight as Miranda herself, and as full of enchantment and wonder. Well-written and full of mystery, the plot is...moreBird is a bewitching little story - as slight as Miranda herself, and as full of enchantment and wonder. Well-written and full of mystery, the plot is intriguing and interesting. What exactly is Miranda? And is Wysteria really the villain of the piece or is it the house itself? These questions and Rita Murphy's vivid descriptions of the coast kept me turning pages until the end. The only thing that I could have wished for would be more pages to help develop the story of Bourne Manor. I would have loved more on the history of the place and it's former inhabitants.
It was a short journey but one well worth my time, and I thoroughly enjoyed being lost within the pages. Bird is a delightful and whimsical mystery.(less)
Need is a tremendously fast-paced, page-turner that never stopped surprising me. In this superb piece of supernatural fiction, Carrie Jones has create...moreNeed is a tremendously fast-paced, page-turner that never stopped surprising me. In this superb piece of supernatural fiction, Carrie Jones has created a thrilling alternate universe in which foul creatures leap off the page, much to the delicious horror of the reader. The plot twists and turns coupled with well-drawn and believable characters, make Need a fun and exciting read.
Need is creepy, intriguing, and utterly original. The writing is lyrical and engaging, dropping the reader right into the middle of the action. A definite bright spot in the genre, Need packs a lot in - suspense, mystery, romance, the paranormal - there is something for almost everyone in this slim volume. If only the second book in the series, Captivate, were available at the library or on Kindle! (less)
I bought Beastly at a "Friends of the Library Booksale" last summer. It looked really interesting - I LOVE re-tellings of fairy-tales. I finally picke...moreI bought Beastly at a "Friends of the Library Booksale" last summer. It looked really interesting - I LOVE re-tellings of fairy-tales. I finally picked it up and read it this weekend in anticipation of the upcoming movie.
The book was well-written and interesting. The changes that Kyle/Adrian went through were nothing short of transformative. I really hated him in the beginning. He was the typical colossal jerk and I couldn't wait for him to learn his lesson. By the end of the story however, he really had become a different person.
Lindy was a kindred spirit - a bookish girl, invisible to her peers but with a courage and character that could not be broken. She was the perfect heroine for this story and I admired her from the first.
The other characters, especially Magda, Will, and Kendra, were deeply explored and engaging. And the world Alex Finn created - from the halls of the Tuttle school to streets of Brooklyn to the winter-wonderland in the New York countryside - was elaborate and intriguing.
Beastly really is a fantastic effort. I can't wait to see the movie, to compare and contrast, and to explore some of Finn's other novels.(less)
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside is a well-written example of YA paranormal romance at it's best. The characters are original and relateable,...moreJessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside is a well-written example of YA paranormal romance at it's best. The characters are original and relateable, with a "reality" that is sometimes difficult to find in fiction. Beth Fantaskey's writing is outstanding, and could easily be "mistaken" for regular old "adult" fiction instead of YA.
Fantaskey chose her settings well - what two places on earth could be more diametrically opposed than small-town Lancaster, PA and the grandeur of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania? The differences in culture were captivating and sensational, spurring the plot along and keeping the reader gasping for more.
I had a hard time putting Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside down. Aside from it's silly title (and yes, I do understand the title - still don't like it...) it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Definitely recommend for fans of vampire fiction and paranormal romance.(less)
Look For Me By Moonlight was not exactly what I expected. I thought I was getting into a YA paranormal romance type of novel, but there was really no...moreLook For Me By Moonlight was not exactly what I expected. I thought I was getting into a YA paranormal romance type of novel, but there was really no romance to speak of. By the time Vincent began planting kisses on Cynda's naïve teenage lips and neck, it is perfectly obvious to the reader that he is bad news.
Vincent himself is an incredibly well-written "bad guy," complete with an atmosphere of danger and cruelty. Our heroine however, was weak, weak, WEAK! I kept waiting for Cynda to see Vincent for who he really was... then, I waited for her to do something about it. In the end, it was Will who really facilitated Vincent's demise. The other characters of the novel - Cynda's father, stepmother, her brother Todd, and even her new friend Will - are less cleanly drawn. These auxiliary characters do their part by fading into the background of the story, without really creating any discernible subplots to muddy up the main plot.
Overall, Look For Me By Moonlight was suspenseful and sufficiently creepy, but still a little disappointing. It was predictable and the ending fell flat - just plain unfulfilling after a pretty good build-up. I can't say I'd particularly recommend Look For Me By Moonlight to anyone. The story is pretty shallow - but if that's what you're looking for, this book is for you. I need a little something more. (less)
Robin McKinley's Beauty is a beautiful and wonderfully written romantic re-telling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The youngest and plai...moreRobin McKinley's Beauty is a beautiful and wonderfully written romantic re-telling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The youngest and plainest of three daughters, Honour - nicknamed "Beauty" - lives very happily in the city with her loving father and sisters until their fortunes change suddenly and they are forced to sell their grand house and things and move into the country. The family adjusts well to their reduced circumstances, and are happy together in the country.
On his way home from a business trip into the city, Beauty's father becomes hopelessly lost in an enchanted forest. Out of his mind with fatigue and cold, he happens upon a magical castle at the center of the wood. In stopping to rest, Beauty's father unknowingly will change the course of the lives of all of his family.
In case you are unfamiliar with the classic tale, I will not spoil it for you here with further details. One thing you should know is that despite being packaged and targeted toward a YA audience recently, you will be missing out on something really special if you dismiss it as a "kid's" book. Beauty is a rich re-telling with vivid details and captivating characters.
McKinley's writing is incredible, with an astounding depth that the classic tale doesn't have. The characters are animated and brilliantly defined, becoming dynamic and realistic for the reader. Beauty is a fantastic heroine - full of strength, intelligence and bravery. Though she doesn't see herself as beautiful, the Beast certainly does. He is an amazingly sympathetic character, with profound insight into character and integrity.
In Beauty, Robin McKinley paints the reader into the marvelous world of fairy tale and myth. Her descriptions - which a few reviewers refer to as "too much" - were delicious to me, making the overall story all the more enjoyable for me. The atmosphere she created left me spellbound and wanting more!
I initially chose to read Beauty - as part of the Take a Chance Challenge - because it was first published in 1978, the year I was born. Since I have previously read McKinley's Sunshine and found it somewhat lacking, I'm not sure I would have picked up Beauty had I not needed to read a book published in 1978. Fortunately, Beauty more than met my expectations. It is an enchanting story, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the fantasy of fairy tales.(less)
Ella Enchanted is an alternate version of the classic Cinderella tale. Ella was cursed by a crazy fairy when she was born: no matter what anyone asks...moreElla Enchanted is an alternate version of the classic Cinderella tale. Ella was cursed by a crazy fairy when she was born: no matter what anyone asks of her, she must always be obedient. She must obey anyone and everyone, and usually, it is against her will. Ella Enchanted is the story of Ella's adventures in working to remove this curse.
Ella Enchanted is a fantastic mystery, love story, and tale of magic. It is enduring and captivating, with wonderfully complex characters that leap off the page. Levine has taken the Cinderella story and adapted it with wit and humor. What the reader gets in Ella Enchanted is a spectacular and highly readable adaptation. (less)
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle is the first of four books in this series. It tells the story of Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallac...moreA Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle is the first of four books in this series. It tells the story of Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace who, for the last two years, have been waiting for their father to return home from a mysterious research project. Together with some elderly neighbors, the children embark on a journey to other planets, hoping to save their father from the powerful darkness holding him prisoner.
This engaging story combines extraordinary writing and fantasy in one fun to read volume. Many readers have found A Wrinkle in Time to be a Christian allegory, but I prefer to think of it as a story to be treasured on its own merits. In any case, the allegory is not overwhelming, and A Wrinkle in Time plays out as a sweet magical tale for children and adults alike. (less)
In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, all manner of disasters happen to a group of the most obnoxious children you've ever met. This clas...moreIn Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, all manner of disasters happen to a group of the most obnoxious children you've ever met. This classic of children's literature is full of magic and the kind wonderfully imaginative storytelling that makes for a great tale.
From the scrumdiddlyumptious candy factory, to the magical Oompa Loompas, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an enchanting thrill ride that makes me wish I was a kid again.(less)
From Amazon.com: Mary Poppins tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, "who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes....moreFrom Amazon.com: Mary Poppins tells the story of the world's most beloved nanny, "who brings enchantment and excitement with her everywhere she goes. From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.
The story of Mary Poppins is delightful and magical, imaginative and bewitching - a true classic of children's literature! P.L. Travers is a fantastically witty storyteller, and has written an adventurous story for children of all ages. Mary Poppins is light hearted and fun to read. (less)
Coraline is an extraordinary young lady who has just moved with her family into a new home. Inside her mysterious new flat is a locked door that leads...moreCoraline is an extraordinary young lady who has just moved with her family into a new home. Inside her mysterious new flat is a locked door that leads to a brick wall... most of the time. Sometimes though, the door leads to a creepy alternate reality, where Coraline's "other" mother and father live in a flat almost like hers, but not quite. And thus begins Coraline's adventure.
Along the way, she meets the ghosts of other children who were stolen away from her world by the other mother, and a guide in the form of a snarky black cat. Coraline is a fast-paced, deliciously creepy young adult novel. It was a fantastic read, and definitely not just for kids! (less)