Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Withering-By-Sea

Withering-By-Sea by Judith Rossell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book started out slowly for me. It takes me a while to get into books that focus largely on the surroundings and obnoxious and caricatured people. But gradually it drew me into the story and the main characters. Mr. Capelli and his cats and Gert were a lot more interesting than the Character Train Aunts, and, indeed, The Professor. And now I will look forward to the second book eagerly.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Review: The Runaway King

The Runaway King
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book starts out slower than its predecessor (The False Prince), but it ends up with a LOT of action - almost too much for me. I am a rather wimpy reader and fighting makes me very anxious. Many people like this kind of excitement in their reading, but I don't. What I do like about this book is trying to understand Jaron's world from his point of view and trying to puzzle out what he should do next. I like his bravery and his honesty, yes, even when he deliberately lets people think something is true when he knows it isn't. He could set the record straight, but uses people's prejudices to further his cause.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Bella at Midnight

Bella at Midnight
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a version of the Cinderella tale, though it is altered almost beyond recognition. I found the multiple points of view a bit hard to follow at times, but it comes together eventually. Enjoyable.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Big Fat Disaster

Big Fat Disaster
Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a bit reluctant to read this book, since, as an adult, I have struggled many, many years with obesity. I have also grown wary of the common plot of redemption through discovering self-worth, where miraculously, the main character finds someone who believes in her and she finally is able to cure her eating disorder, lose weight, and make friends. And, to some extent, this book does actually end up following a lot of that formula.

But there is a lot more to the book than that and that redeemed it a lot for me. The reasons for the MC's binge eating were painful, but were tackled head on by the author. In fact, the book has a lot of the dialog that I, too, have had in my mind over and over again. My experience was nowhere near as bad as hers, but it has been similar enough that I not only recognized the feelings, but could completely understand her inability to escape them.

One of the problematic things about the book for me, though, is that I wanted to eat those Ding-Dongs, the bags of cookies, the doughnuts, etc. with her. I don't like icing, so that didn't appeal to me, but I can see a struggle with the cookie aisle in the grocery store coming on, with my next visit to the grocery store.

I just finished the book today. This is the type of book that takes a while to settle in my brain. These are my first thoughts, but time may alter them a bit.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Review: The False Prince

The False Prince
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book in one day and really enjoyed it. It isn't a book with great deeper significance or long lasting messages, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I went looking for it at my local B & N store, with only the remembrance of what the cover looked like. I couldn't find it in the kids' section, but eventually located it in the teens' section. I think it reads a bit young compared to most of what I seem to find in YA these days, but I really LIKED that. A lot of YA has gotten too violent, too sexualized, and too dark for me. Give me a book like this any day. There is violence in the book, but the book isn't centrally focused on the violence. For me, there is a difference.

I will look for the sequels.

The first time I read this book, I read it for the story. The second time, almost immediately after finishing the book the first time, I read it to determine just how much Sage/Jaron was telling the truth throughout the book and how the author had managed that aspect of the story. I also began to see the reason why Sage always seemed so angry and defiant.

The third time I read it, I saw the hurt child behind the angry and defiant teen. The one who reluctantly gave up his childhood in loyalty to his country and his family.

Much enjoyed.

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Review: Finding the Worm

Finding the Worm
Finding the Worm by Mark Goldblatt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was so annoyed with the slow pacing of this book for most of its pages, but then, somehow, it finally made sense in the end.

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