Tuesday, December 30, 2008


by Robin McKinley

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 58, plus skimmings through the end

I dunno...I didn't find it terribly interesting. The Master was too obviously the love interest, I guess. I dunno.

A Beautiful Mind

by Sylvia Nasar

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 20

I still want to read it. It was just a little dense and thick for this point of time. But I'll still read it someday! A mind like that is too cool to not read a biography about. Plus I loved the movie.

The Dead Fathers Club

by Matt Haig

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 28

The style was just too weird. I'm a stickler for punctuation, and none at all? I can't stand it. Even if it's supposed to be all Modern Style and stuff. So I quit.


by Wesley Stace

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 186

It was just a bit too weirdly gender changing. And Lord Loveall annoyed me, because I think in a different book, I might of liked him. As it was, he annoyed me.

Touching Darkness

by Scott Westerfield

Grade: Good

Good sequal. Still want to read the next one. They still have superpowers. Jessica's little sister Beth is awesome.

The Secret Hour

by Scott Westerfield

Grade: Good

I liked it better than that book about fashion and stuff by him...whatever it was called. The characters were more interesting, plus they had "super-powers" of a sort, and I always find that very interesting. However, I didn't much like Dess or Melissa really. And actually, not Jessica or Jonathan or Rex either...but they had superpowers. That does make up for a lot.

I really liked the description of the secret hour that's on the back cover of this edition, with the still wet diamonds.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mind the Gap

by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

Grade: Good

Some great characters. The group of underground people were great. I was sad when Cadge died, but I never liked Stevie. Terence was cool, although too flirtatious for my liking. The ending was a bit disappointing.

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets

by Nancy Springer

Grade: Good

Another excellent addition to the series. They keep surprising me by not following certain cliches. I like the not dressing up as a boy one.
I love how she adores Sherlock Holmes, and I liked how she dressed up as Miss Viola.
Looking forward to the next one.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Club Dumas

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 94, plus some random skimmings near the end

It was a bit hard to follow. And I didn't quite like any of the characters (although La Ponte was somewhat amusing, though rather gross).
But there were some good aspects too: it mentions The Three Muskateers quite a lot, and even talks about Porthos's death! That was cool. And it seems so scholarly--it mentions books I've never heard of so many times--and it talks about books, books, books...their covers and bindings and everything. Sigh.

Things I have to research:
--What is the chapter "The Anjou Wine" in The Three Muskateers about again? (from pg. 5)
--Who is Rafael Sabatini? (pg. 6)
--What is The Charterhouse of Parma? (pg. 5)

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady

by Nancy Springer

Grade: Good

Good sequel. I still want to read the others, which is practically all that is necessary for a good sequal. I was glad that Sherlock figured out their codes, because he would in "real life". The only time I thought he might not seem true to life was in the prologue chapter. And I do wish Mycroft was a bit nicer...

The Case of the Missing Marquess

by Nancy Springer

Grade: To Own

I would like to have this in a sort of "fictionalized fiction" section. This is very similar to the Mary Russell novels, in that they both have Sherlock Holmes. I thought this was well done. She was enough younger than Sherlock to have it make sense. There's a bit of feminism, but it's not too bad.
And all her disguises and such almost get her a place among the Kay-Kay-Bay books.

The New Policeman

by Kate Thompson

Grade: All right

It was a bit too simple, perhaps for my taste. It was to be expected, though. I got it solely because the cover was really cool and the title looked promising.
But I did like the enclusion of all the fiddle tunes. It made me wish I could play the fiddle. And the way she described "eternity", basically, was fairly good, I thought.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


by Robin McKinley

Grade: All right

It's almost Good, because I read it all the way through very quickly, and my interest never flagged. However, I didn't love the main character very much. And even the vampire--well, he was cool, but he didn't quite cut it to make this book Good instead of All right. If there was a sequal, I'd definitely read it, though.

Spellbound: The Surprising Origins and Astonishing Secrets of English Spelling

by James Essinger

Grade: To Own

I think I just might want to own this one. It is absolutely fascinating, and an excellent resource. Here are just a couple of the points I found interesting:

--"fish" can be spelled "ghoti", says Shaw, according to the sounds those letters use in other words
--"pork" vs. "pig": the difference came with the rich Normans, never seeing the animal, calling it "pork", and the poor Saxons, never seeing the meat, calling it "pig"
--I love Norman names. Draco Malfoy is one (versus Harry Potter), and Caledon Hockley (versus Jack Dawson)
--"[T]he ruder the word is, the more Anglo-Saxon is sounds"
--I wanna go to the British Library--it sounds beautiful and wonderful and lovely
--There's a particular episode of Blackadder that I ought to watch, starring Dr. Johnson
--He didn't mention Shakespeare adding words, which I've heard to be the case. I think I might email him about it and ask him
--On page 268-9, there is a plethora of beautiful British spellings, some of which I want to adopt.

And those are but a few! Really cool book.

A True and Faithful Narrative

by Katherine Sturtevant

Grade: All right

Not as good as the last one. Mostly because I didn't like Edward. Will wasn't wonderful either, but I liked him better than Edward. So. Grade: All right.

Power of Three

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Good thing I continued reading after what I thought was a rather dull first page, because it got better and better. As usual, she brought in the modern world very cleverly.

Believing is Seeing

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

These were good stories. Good Diana Wynne Jones. "The Master" I didn't really get, but it was interesting. "The Girl Who Loved the Sun" was sad. Sniff. I liked "What the Cat Told Me" best, probably. "Nad and Dan Adn Quaffy" was weird, and I didn't quite get it either. But it was still good Diana Wynne Jones.

At the Sign of the Star

by Katherine Sturtevant

Grade: Good

Good little book. I liked the Paul guy because he was nice, even though he didn't have a very big role. It was almost too feminist in parts, but it wasn't bad. Nice history, interesting details, and good characterization.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

by R. L. Lafevers

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To somewhere in the middle

The person I liked turned out bad. End of story. I don't like stories where the person I like turns out bad, unless it's really fascinatingly bad, like Ben Linus or something. Otherwise, it was pretty cool.

Silent in the Grave

by Deanna Raybourn

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 190

It was very well done and intruiging, and Nicholas Brisbane had potential, but there love story was too much of the sparring that I don't like, and there was stuff at the end that bothered me. But I might re-read some of it just to find out what Nicholas's strange problem was.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Letters to a Young Mathematician

by Ian Stewart

Grade: To Re-read

If I go into math, or I'm stuck on what to go into, I ought to read this again, thus the grade.
It gave me a really good game which would be fun to play with Breann sometime: change ORDER into CHAOS, one letter at a time. (Or SHIP into DOCK if I need it to be easier.)
Also it mentions this: "Anyone who thinks computers can supplant mathematicians understands neither computing nor mathematics. It's like thinking we don't need biologists now that we have microscopes." Contradiction to an interesting video we watched recently.

INSERT: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Because it's an insert, I can't remember all the good parts anymore. But there were some very, very good parts. She very accurately and amusingly describes what's cliched with the fantasy genre.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Apprentices

by Leon Garfield

Grade: All right

I felt I needed an "All right". I haven't had one in ages.
This one wasn't bad, but it was hard to finish. Some stories I loved, like "Rosy Starling" and "The Valentine", but some were kind of boring.
I hope it hasn't discouraged my interest in Leon Garfield, because I looooved Black Jack.


by Stephenie Meyer

Grade: Good

Despite being terribly romantic, I actually graded it "Good"! Wow, there must be something to it!
Actually, mostly it was because it was one of those books that I read in a day, without wanting to stop. And vampires are cool! True, this one was incredibly handsome...But you know, it made it better that his family was all incredibly handsome too.
I've ordered the sequal. Let's see if they end up as bad as Bookshelvesofdoom made them out to be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


by Neil Gaiman

Grade: Good

Of course, the Chesterton quote at the beginning made it automatically a cool book. Even besides the quote, though, it was rather Chestertonian, although a bit more spooky and modern than Chesterton. The black button eyes were incredibly creepy.
Really, just an awesomely told fairy tale, with a Chestertonian moral. I think Breann might even like it.

A Sudden Wild Magic

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 76

I dunno. I just don't like her adult books as much. It had potential...The magic was creative as always, I almsot really liked Mark. But the adult content and the confusion--it seemed just too detailed, with not enough plot advancement--just lessed my enjoyment enough that I didn't finish it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

INSERT: Wild Robert

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good
Inserted: Somewhere in the September/October Diana Wynne Jones spree.

Really, really, good for such a short book. Wild Robert was awesome, the setting was perfectly lovely, the hint of Romance was just of the sort I like, and the magic was of Diana Wynne Jones. Lovely.

Stopping for a Spell

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

The worst of the three books of short stories I've read by her. They were all kind of gross. The villains were annoying instead of cool, or savage, or all-powerful, or anything interesting. Although I liked the four grannies as villains--but not the supergranny. It seemed to short a story to have something like that.

Still, it was Diana Wynne Jones, and that almost automatically earns it a "Good".

Warlock at the Wheel and Other Stories

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Typical Diana Wynne Jones. Nothing as good as Archer's Goon, and not even quite as good as Mixed Magics. "Dragon Rserve, Home Eight" was different. It could probably have been much longer--the charcters were unique and the story was typically creative. I liked "Carruthers" too, but I thought he was better as a "he". "The Fluffy Pink Toadstool" ended too soon.

The Black Book of Secrets

by F. E. Higgins

Grade: Good

I liked it quite a bit, but not quite enough "To Own" or even "To Re-read". Joe Zabbidou was cool, but I imagined him a bit younger. I saw the frog twist a bit before it happened, but I think one was meant to. I liked the twist at the end, and I LIKED that Polly didn't become his love interest or anything, but left to go to the awful City.

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox

by Eoin Colfer

Grade: Good

It wasn't as good as The Lost Colony, but it was better than the other ones (not including the first). I was disappointed that Artemis didn't keep his magic. That was what I was most excited about--I mean, Artemis Fowl with magical abilities? How cool would that be? How super-powerful would he be then?
But I actually quite like the young Holly-old Artemis subplot. It was new and different, and not the blonde curly genius girl. She seemed too...convenient...for my taste.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Eight Days of Luke

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

I love books like this. I might want to start a whole collection some day of gods and goddesses books. Eight Days of Luke and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul for Norse, The Lightning Thief series for Greek gods, and The Game by Diana Wynne Jones for Roman. I could also include The God Beneath the Sea, but that's more retelling of the legends.
This one's best parts were Luke, who was really cool and Thor, who's my Gawain of Norse mythology. I just wish that Astrid didn't end up having to leave her husband.

The Night of the Comet

by Leon Garfield

Grade: Good

Lot's of fun. Rather Shakespearian in the love matches and comedy of errors. Bostock reminded me of Ron a bit.
Nothing much else to say, except it was so much fun it is almost a "To Own" book.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Archer's Goon

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: To Own

At this rate of "To Own"s, I'm going to own a million more books soon.

Excellent book. Centers around two families, and I adore families. The magic family had the most delicious names. I liked that some turned out good and some turned out bad.

I was quite surprised by some of the twists, actually. Especially the Goon twist. The Venturus twist I got just a couple pages before I was told.

The Goon talks like Freddy!! For that reason, I liked him a lot. I liked Torquil too.

The Game

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: To Own

A lovely little book. About Greek gods, which I happen to be interested in right now. (Actually, Roman gods, but it's close enough.) The picture on the front is cool, and it's small and hardcover. I loved Flute and Fiddle. And I liked how ordinary it seemed at first, and then you found out that it was unordinary the whole time. However, it did get kind of confusing sometimes near the end.

Mixed Magics

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Beware! This is my Diana Wynne Jones week! About a million and one Diana Wynne Jones books coming up!

Good little set of short stories. It was nice to see Cat with Chrestomanci again. I really do like Chrestomanci. I think "Carol Oneir's Hundredth Dream" was my favourite, even if I didn't quite understand it.

The Young Visiters

by Daisy Ashford

Grade: To Own

It's such a nice little book. And the movie had Hugh Laurie in it.

Here's the funniest passage in the whole thing:
"The Earl soon got tired of his sickly daughters and his wife had a savage temper so he thourght he would divorce her and try again but he gave up the idear after several attempts and decided to offer it up as a Mortification."

Also, just after Bernard and Ethel went on a merry six week honeymoon,
"[They] returned from their Honymoon with a son and hair a nice fat baby called Ignatius Bernard."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Genius Squad

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: To Re-read.

The Canadian cop, Saul, was almost really cool, and I'd like to re-read some parts with him. Fiona you only saw from Cadel's point of view, or else I think I would have liked her more. Cadel is always cool. One reviewer said that it suffered a bit from lack of villains, and I agree, but it didn't suffer too much. Prosper is a great villain, and a menacing shadow throughout the book. Yet, he's given humanity, which really adds to it. He'd go on my Top Ten or So Greatest Villains list if there was a movie of Evil Genius.
Still a great series, and I'm dying for the sequal.

The God Beneath the Sea

by Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen

Grade: Good

I really like the gods, for the same reason that I like superheroes, I think. Hermes was the best in this one, with his "sideways smile", and his son Autolycus, grandfather of Odysseus. Hades was cool in his love for Persephone, but no Hades could beat the Hades in The Lightning Thief.
Unfortunately, the gods are very sensual. Good because they have lots of cool kids, bad because...well, you know.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Witch Week

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Much better than the last one I attempted. Or maybe I was just too full of Diana Wynne Jones when I tried the last one.
The characters were cool, Chrestomanci was AWESOME, it was engrossing all the way through, and--as usual--the magic was well done and really cool.
I didn't quite like the end though...not quite tied up enough. I wanted to know what happened to the characters more. Like what Charles's talent was.

Raven Rise

by D. J. MacHale

Grade: Good

It was a bit strange not having Bobby for the first third or so of the book. I never loved Bobby's parts at first though, so I didn't miss it too much. It just made it seem a bit uneven somehow. Also there were no new worlds to find out about, which I think I actually missed a bit, despite the fact that I often find that part boring.
I don't know how MacHale is going to tie everything up. There's still so much that's a mystery. It's a bit like Lost in some ways.
I really hope Mark and Courtney come back. They're my favourite characters by far.

Monday, September 15, 2008


by Eoin Colfer

Grade: To Re-read

The parts with the French guy, at least! I liked him. Victor Vigny was awesome: his hair stuck up; he knew karate, fencing, tai chi, and lots of science--and then he died.

The story was a fantastic adventure story reminiscent of The Count of Monte Christo. It fits admirably the quote: "Fencing. Fighting. Fire. Torture. Revenge. Knights. Nuns. Chases. Escapes. Rescues. True love. Miracles." But without the nuns.

Jolly good fun. I had at least a liking for almost all of the characters except the villain. He wasn't very interesting. But the aformentioned French guy, the blind, American musician, and the loyal, giant assassin were all pretty cool.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow

Grade: Good

Almost, almost "All right". In fact, it was a bit close to being "Unfinished". But the computer stuff saved it. It was awesome!! All the computer stuff!! I wanna take computer science!! And I'm scared half to death that I'll be horrible at it.

What made it almost "All right" was the horrible school-ish culture: scenes I had to skip, jabs at anti-evolutionists and anti-global warming-ists. It reminded me of sometimes of the awesome passion you get in Catholicism, but more...sneering.

Phrase to look up: esprit d'escalier.

Black Jack

by Leon Garfield

Grade: Good

I actually didn't mind the romance in this one. I was amazed. I think I almost liked it because it was so unusual--the heroine was mad. As in actually mentally insane.

Second most likeable thing was the Black Jack--Tolly relationship. (I like how Tolly's name for himself for Black Jack stuck all the way through.) That's the kind of relationship that makes me adore books. If I liked Tolly a little bit more...and if I quite liked the Tolly--Belle stuff (instead of almost liking)...then this might have become a favourite.

Third: his writing style. Every once in a while, there would pop up this quirky, unexpected little phrase. I liked this one:

"Although she was firm and sometimes harsh, although she was apt to bully and shout, and to have favorites and enemies among her frantic charges, it was strongly suspected she'd a heart of gold. Or of some metal very like it."

The last sentance puts a whole new spin on the "heart of gold" phrase, and you get a glimpse of her true nature.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


by Veronica Bennett

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 40

Mostly I found the characters uninteresting. I was hoping I'd love them, and it would induce me to read Frankenstein, but it didn't.


by Maureen Johnson

Grade: Good

Except for a bit of almost anti-Catholicism (I hated the Jane-trying-out-for-seminary bit), it's mostly good, and quite engaging. I almost really liked Owen. His description was pretty cool, at least:

"He had slightly shaggy light red hair and a very finely featured face, with a tiny nose and thin peaked eyebrows."

Easily read and interesting enough characters--I even liked Allison a bit. I'm not sure if I want to read more of Maureen Johnson, however.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Unknown Ajax

by Georgette Heyer

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 114, plus some other stuff.

It was almost wonderful...in fact, I'm not sure why I stopped. (Hahaha!! I just began the last one the same way. Not going to change it now though. You're stuck with bad writing skills, whoever's reading this.) Maybe because the brother Richmond didn't turn out as interesting as I thought. Another brother and sister pair would have been perfect!!!
But I actually kind of liked Anthea, she might be one of my favourite heorines. And Hugo was interesting too. It was so promising...sniff...

Here's a cool quote:
"'Sequestration!' suddenly and triumphantly exclaimed Mrs. Darracott. 'That was the word! I thought very likely it would come back to me, for very often things do, and sometimes, which always seems extraordianry to me, in the middle of the night.'"

That is just like me. It always happens to me. But I've never seen it described before.


by Lilli Thal

Grade: Good

Almost wonderful. Almost "To Own". Almost one of my favourite characters ever. But not quite.
It was Mimus that made this so great. I loooved Mimus. He was so sad... Florin was a bit boring, but Mimus made Jesters romantic and cool and something that now enters my list of noticeable things. Alix was almost a bit interesting, but then she wasn't.

Castle in the Air

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

The soldier was cool. I liked him better old though, I think. The Princess Beatrice part is one of the reasons why I love Diana Wynne Jones. I also liked the part with Princess Valeria. And the part in the closet with Fower-in-the-Night and Abdullah. Reminded me of Pirates of Penzance.

"'I DIDN'T find you unattractive!' bawled Abdullah. Then he remembered the sixty-eight ears beyond the curtain..."

The only criticism would be the bit of all-over-the-place-ness (how would you say that? "Looseness"?) which is common in her books.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Somnambulist

by Jonathan Barnes

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 113, plus a bit more throughout the book.

Some really creepy bits. The description of Mrs. Puggsley's place was rather disgusting. I read the end, and didn't get it at all. Is that dream thing supposed to mean something about the Somnambulist? Now of course, I didn't read half the book, so it's understandable. Then there was Barabbas. Yuck, yuck. I felt really depressed after this book, because I'd been reading a lot of books with stuff like that in it lately. I'm determined not to again for a long time.

Pagan's Scribe

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Unfinished
Read: Skimmed all the way through it.

Bad parts: Lord Jordan's back. Isidore is not as interesting as Pagan. Some theology might be iffy. (I'm not really sure about that part, though.)
Good parts: You see Pagan from someone else's point of view. Lord Roland dies and Pagan is very sad and it's all very sweet. Catherine Jinks's style is still very much present.

Pagan in Exile

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 208

I thought it was good, till Esclaramonde came in. I didn't like her. And then there's Lord Jordan... Actually, there's a good point about his presence. It proves that Roland and Pagan's relationship isn't like that, by the contrast to Pagan's reaction to his discovery about Lord Jordan. Otherwise a good book--I love Pagan and Roland's relationship, very sweet, and the writing style is still really cool.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Thief

by Megan Whalen Turner

Grade: Good

I enjoyed the characters--I grew to like the magus especially, I think. The gods were not as cool as in The Lightning Thief--too...pagan, I guess, as opposed to just powerful people. The twist at the end was interesting. I guessed one twist, not the other. I didn't quite get the very last bit in italics.

Jimmy Coates: Killer

by Joe Craig

Grade: All right

I had much too high expectations for this one. I expected it to be as fabulous as The Lightning Thief. It wasn't. The writing style was more amateur, I think. The character might have been interesting with a different writer, but as it is, I liked none of them. Although I may have liked Mitchell if he was in it at all. I'm undecided about whether I want to order the sequal.

Year of the Griffin

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Boy, a lot of people got married in this one. Diana Wynne Jones, in that aspect, manages to be almost perfect--but not quite. All the romances were right, but none were quite satisfying. The only one I really liked was Callette's.
Otherwise, the group of students was lots of fun--not quite enough time spent on Felim (if that's his name). Generally satifying.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion

by Neil Gaiman

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 82

It just got a bit boring. And there wasn't enough about the characters and such. I suppose because there isn't all that much to the characters. Hitchhiker's isn't exactly a deep book, is it?

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Lightning Thief

by Rick Riordan

Grade: Good

I LOVED it!! It was totally awsome. The chapter titles are sooo funny: "I Plunge to my Death"--how many books have chapters like that? and "I Battle my Jerk Relative"--absolutely hilarious, especially if you know who the jerk relative is. Most of the titles are funnier when you realize what they're talking about.

And the gods are so cool! Hades: "His skin was albino white, his hair shoulder-length and jet black. He wasn't bulked up like Ares, but he radiated power. He lounged on his throne of fused human bones, looking lithe, graceful, and dangerous as a panther." I love the word "lithe", just so you know. And Poseidon is pretty cool too. I've always like Poseidon (I think). Even Ares was almost cool.

I didn't love Annabeth, but Grover was funny, "even though he only knew two songs: Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 12 and Hilary Duff's "So Yesterday," both of which sounded pretty bad on reed pipes."

So in other words, I loved it, and REALLY hope the sequals live up to it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dark Lord of Derkholm

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Have I said that I love Diana Wynne Jones? Her books are ALWAYS interesting, and I don't ever need to love one of the characters.

I did this time, though. My favourite character was the thief, Reville. He's almost a Lewis person.

"He was a young man, think and fair and clever-looking."
"[A] shortish, fair-haired young man, who came sauntering down the stairs with an air."

And he happens to be the richest person in the world, due to the fact that he's Hereditary Head of Thieves Guild.

Pagan's Crusade

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Good

Sometime's Pagan's comments seemed almost disrespectful to the faith, but I don't think they quite were. I loved the friendship between Roland and Pagan. Some sweet parts:

"(Oh, please, please, how can I explain? You've got to. I can't bear it. If he dies . . . I can't bear it. . . what shall I do?)"

"'Oh, my lord. My lord, your wound. You're hurt. . .'
He looks down at me. Blue eyes big and bloodshot in a grimy face. Suddenly very still.
'Stop crying, Pagan.'
'There's nothing to cry about.' (Gently.) 'Not yet.'
But I'm not crying! Am I? Reach up. . . and there they are. The tears. Lord have mercy."

This last one is a good example of the interesting style it's written in. I like that style. More in tune with the emotions of the narrator or something.

"'My lord, how can I?' Look at me, Roland. Look at me. I might be your squire, but I'm also your friend. Can't you see that? Can't you see what I'm feeling? 'My lord, have some mercy. For God's sake, think of me. Don't you understand? You're all I have left.'"

Howl's Moving Castle

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Ought to be "Really good--in fact totally excellent". I love Diana Wynne Jones.

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Trenton Lee Stewert

Grade: Good

Good fun. First part with the puzzles was extra good fun. Wasn't quite as for the rest, but still fun. Looking forward to the sequal. Somehow didn't guess what's-her-face to be the age she was. Read it a little while ago, so forgetting what I originally thought. Talking strangely too. Just finished Doctor Who...totally excellent. Loved it. Sigh.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So Yesterday

by Scott Westerfeld

Grade: Good

Actually quite good. Very funny. All the cool stuff made me feel a bit embarrassed...as if everybody's always looking at me and seeing how uncool I am. However, luckily I happen to live where I live. I don't think that happens very much here.
I have to look up that Pokeman show sometime.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

M is for Magic

by Neil Gaiman

Grade: All right

Ok, no more Neil Gaiman, I don't think. This was for kids, so it was fine content wise, but it wasn't wonderful. Yeah....bit wierd, and not funny enough.

Fly by Night

by Frances Hardinge

Grade: Good

I wasn't sure whether all the talk about truth at the end was morally correct. I'll talk to my father about it when he's read it.
Otherwise, very entertaining, a bit confusing. Lovely end (walk-off-towards-sunset-in-hopes-of-a-sequel type of ending), Clent was not quite what I was expecting, but he was good.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dead Man's Island

by Carolyn G. Hart

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 41

The main character was the kind of feminist I don't like--I hate that kind of feminist in books--the only British guy was too charming, and I didn't like any of the characters.

Rogue Male

by Geoffrey Household

Grade: Good

Hard to pick up, but engrossing as it got further along. Perhaps "thrilling" would be better than "engrossing"...anyway...
I liked how slowly the main character (I forgot his name...) realizes his true motives.
But mostly I liked it because he was clever and good at hiding.

"I stood in a little copse at the bottom and started yelling bloody murder in a terrified soprano--'Help!' and 'Let me go!' and 'God, won't anybody come!' and then a succession of hysterical screams that were horrible to hear and quite false. The screams of a terrified woman are rhythmical and wholly unnatural, and had I imitated them correctly the sergeant would have thought me a ghost or some fool yodelling."

Reminded me of Shannon's screams at the beggining of Lost. Also an interesting insight. I'd like to hear a terrified woman now, to check up on his statement.

A Company of Swans

by Eva Ibbotson

Grade: Unfinished
Reat to: Page 52

I really tried with Eva Ibbotson...She just won't work. I won't try anymore.
Her book are rather formulaic for one thing. A nice girl has a suitor who is a bit strange in some respect (here he was against women learning and a bit too solemn--I liked him (NOT because he was against women learning, which is stupid)), who she kind of likes, but certainly doesn't love. Then she meets this manly guy and they fall in love, and then something separates them, but then they get back together. There's a lot of other stuff that's the same, but I can't remember it all, and bother to list the stuff I remember. It's boring.
One thing going for her is the cool details on Europe and music and art and such.

Pictures of Perfection

by Reginald Hill

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 68

I don't think I'll read any more Reginald Hill. Just a bit too modern, and the only characters I've liked so far are Pascoe, and Dalziel to a certain extent.
The beginning was awesome in a bloody sort of way. I enjoyed it quite a lot, actually. It was cool how you didn't care about any of the people dying, but then you slowly got to know the people, and there was a great sense of trepidation, because you knew they were going to die. Same way that the flashforwards create supsense in Lost. Of course, the ending changed everything. I didn't quite get the ending. Was he just going a bit wonky or something?


by Neil Gaiman

Grade: All right

It was quite different than the movie. I expected, for some reason, that it would be very similar. Sextus wasn't nearly as cool as in the movie. Probably cause of the actor guy. I was hoping the book would explain some things about the climax that I didn't understand. But it didn't.
It had a cool fairy-tale feeling--not modern, except for a bit of some sleeping-together type stuff.
Not my absolute favourite movie, or book either. I'd like to read more Neil Gaiman, though.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunset at Blandings

by P. G. Wodehouse

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Some random pages

The pages at the end made me feel better. This is exactly how I do it:

(Snippets of his work in progress:)
"Try this. Hero is composer or lyrist with a big show coming on on B'way. He asks Ld Ch for consent--refused as income uncertain. ...
V Good XX)"

"3. Mother leaves (..?...) UF meets Lord E
This looks nearly right)"

It's mostly all the "Try this"s and comments like "V Good XX".

Full Moon

by P. G. Wodehouse

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 40 or so

There was an amazingly beautiful heroine who was extremely stupid, and she married the man in horn-rimmed glasses. Bill was very virile and handsome.
The glasses guy could have at least been paired with the other girl instead of the stupid one.

Cover Her Face

by P. D. James

Grade: All right

(I've been giving out "Good"s far too often, so I'm cutting down.)

I didn't guess the murderer, and the murderer was a good person to be the murderer. I was satisfied with that.
Buuuut...it got a bit boring, and I didn't like Dalgliesh enough (except for his name), and the romance at the end irritated me a lot, and there was never quite enough of Felix Hearne. You didn't even really find out what happened to him in the end.

The Long Kill

by Reginald Hill

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 60

The end was very sad, but I liked it. Of course, I didn't really have much of a clue about what was happening, since I didn't read most of the rest of the book.
I think I might have liked it if I liked Anya, but she bugged me. Jaysmith was cool. Cool name, cool occupation, and you could sympathize with him.
It probably got better, but I couldn't really bother reading any more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Gun Seller

by Hugh Laurie

Grade: Good

A little too much icky stuff. Why do all the girls have to be so attractive? I guess cause it's supposed to be some sort of James Bond spoof. But it was annoying none the less.

But it was hilarious other than that. I liked how it starts.

"Imagine that you have to break someone's arm.
Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly--snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint--or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable?"

It gets better than that, but it's too long to type the whole thing.

Back to Society

by Marion Chesney

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 2

I think I read less of this then even the last one. Boy, they went downhill fast.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Asking for the Moon

by Reginald Hill

Grade: Good

My introduction to Dalziel and Pascoe. Good one to start with as this contains the very first meeting of Dalziel and Pascoe. I can see myself enjoying all the rest. I love the relationship between them, and the fact that Pascoe isn't stupid. I suppose they don't really do stupid sidekicks as much these days. No more Dr. Watsons for us, and actually--I don't mind. I liked Pascoe. And Dalziel was very amusing.
But Pascoe was better because he reminded me of Lewis, except not as nice. Wield's physical description of him was like him, anyhow:

"Nice mover, head held high, good shoulders, slim body, long legs."

And he's educated and well-spoken. Those are the only similarities, I guess.

I felt so sorry for poor Pascoe at the end of the last story. It's cool how he ended up, though.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue

by Marion Chesney

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 3

Now even the parts with the Poor Relations are getting boring.

The Grand Tour

by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 35

I suspect one of the main reasons why I liked the first one was because my friend CH liked it. Even though this one took them all through Europe, which is pretty cool, I couldn't really get around to reading it. Also, CH said it wasn't as good as the first, and if I didn't love the first...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

INSERT: Into the Wild

by Sarah Beth Durst

Grade: Good
Inserted: After Charmed Life

Highly original view of fairytales. I loved the Wild.
However, the girl was too young. I thought she was around 14. I can't remember how old she actually was, but I think it's 10 or so.
And there ought to have been more of Puss in Boots. He's always a good character, and now he's her brother as well, and I always love brothers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rex Zero and the End of the World

by Tim Wynne Jones

Grade: All right

The time period wasn't my favourite. And I kept on expecting it would be fantasy, and it never was. All in all, it was kind of simple for my liking. An almost teenagers book, but not with the childishness that is sometimes quite appealing (think Winnie-the-Pooh). And in the wrong time period for me. I'm not interesting in the Cold War yet.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Vol. 1 The Pox Party

by M. T. Anderson

Grade: Good

Good. Black slave experimented on. I liked the experimentation and the torture and the blotted out pages. I liked when his mother died. In other words, I liked all the nasty horrible bits. I have a bit of a taste for the gruesome sometimes.

Conrad's Fate

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

Excellent author. I liked the other ones better--maybe. But maybe not. She's really good.

I liked Hugo because I like that kind of person.
I like learning how to be a valet.
I like Christopher because he dresses richly.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Lives of Christopher Chant

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

I decidedly like Diana Wynne Jones. The Lives of Christopher Chant fully lived up to my expectations.
The whole Goddess thing was cool. I didn't expect Millie to be like that as a child, though. I liked her way better than I liked Janet from Charmed Life.
I liked Tacroy a lot too.
I love awesome power displays, such as the part where he lifted the whole house after the silver was taken from him.

"And as his arms went up, he felt something come loose with them--come loose with a vengeance.
Everything in the room went upwards except Christopher, the mirror, the tiepin, the tooth-brace and the money. These slid to the floor as the table surged upwards, but were collected by the carpet which came billowing up after it. Christopher hastily stepped off the carpet and stood watching everything soar around him--all the clocks, several tables, chairs, rugs, pictures, vases, ornaments, and Dr. Pawson too. He and his armchair both went up, majestically, like a balloon, and bumped against the ceiling. The ceiling bellied upwards and the chandelier plastered itself sideways against it. From above came crashings, shrieks, and an immense airy grinding. Christopher could feel that the roof of the house had come off and was on its way to the sky, pursued by the attics. It was an incredible feeling."

All this for a simple levitation spell. Cool.

An Abundance of Katherines

by John Green

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 133

I loved all the math and science and footnotes. I liked this footnote, explaining all the uninteresting things Colin would talk about:

"Among many, many others, the following things were definitely not interesting: the pupillary sphincter, mitosis, baroque architecture, jokes that have physics equations as punch lines, the British monarchy, Russian grammar, and the signifacant role that salt has played in human history."
(Those things are so totally interesting! I'd much rather hear about them than a lot of other thigns people talk about.)

And the cover was fantastic! The best cover ever, definitely.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of yucky stuff in it too. Too much for me to finish it at this time. So I stopped at page 133. (I am planning to read it again someday.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wasting Police Time

by PC David Copperfield

Grade: Unfinished
Read to: Page 105

I found this quite fascinating, actually. It is graded "Unfinished" not because I didn't like it, but because it was kind of hard to read the whole thing. Some of it was rather similar to all the rest of it, if you know what I mean. It was basically a blog made into a book.
However, I liked how much you learned about the police "culture", (like you learned about butler "culture" in The Remains of the Day). And I loved how politically incorrect he was! All he said about basically everything was very cool and agreeable (meaning able to be agreed with by me).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

INSERT: The Children of Men

by P. D. James

Grade: Good
Inserted: After Band of Brothers

There's that certain modern quality...I can't quite grasp it or describe it. Perhaps it is simply a grown-up quality. Anyhow, this book had it, and I don't enjoy it.
However, this book was good. It's amazing she wrote it in 1992, when the possible percussions of birth-control were certainly not thought about. Extremely prophetic, in an exaggerated sense, considering that Europe is dying.
The main character was interesting as well. I like the middle-aged Oxford professor type. He reminded me slightly of the main character in Gentlemen and Players.

The Remains of the Day

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Grade: Good

Certainly slow moving. But I loved how deep it seemed to go into butler "culture". I loved it way more than Never Let Me Go. They both were a bit tragic, but I understood this one more, it was extremely proper (written by a Jeeves, you see), and it really wasn't entirely unhappy.
I liked how Ishiguro managed to convey that the narrator was mistaken in his ideals, even though the narrator himself was obviously convinced he was right. I suppose that's what all good authors should be able to do.

(There's a doctor in this book. Why was he stuck in? He sounded like an Agatha Christie doctor. I suppose that's what they were like in those days...Where they though? That somehow seems unlikely. Anyway, his name is Dr. Carlisle, and I don't quite understand why he was so insistant in his questioning about whether Stevens enjoyed talking to the villagers.)

Book of a Thousand Days

by Shannon Hale

Grade: All right

The most fascinating thing about this book is that it happens to be set in Mongolia--which, of course, is the country which I am researching right now.
Otherwise, it had some interesting parts--I liked how the princess didn't have some dramatic change in character. It seemed like most authors would have made her have one. However, I didn't find it very interesting. So...it's fine. All right.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anansi Boys

by Neil Gaiman

Grade: Good

Some of it I didn't like at all. Mostly middle bits. The part with the ghost was boring. The end was great, though. I loved Spider at the end, and the part where Charlie sang.
Speaking of Spider--I thought he was cute at the end. From about when he lost his tongue onwards. Fat Charlie was nice as he wasn't a typical hero exactly. And I always like stories about gods and people with superhuman powers. It's been compared to Douglas Adams, and it certainly reminds me of The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, but I liked it better, I think. The characters seem a bit more character-like, while the Adams people never go quite far enough for me to like them (for the most part).

Here are some random Spider quotes that I liked for an unkown reason. Just to clarify, I don't actually like people like Spider usually. It's just that he happens to be handsome, which I dislike, so I expected to hate him. Since I didn't hate him, I was pleasantly surprised. Any person in whom I am pleasantly surprised, I tend to like a lot.

"Spider's eyes were like puddles after the rain, and Charlie saw things in them he had not seen before: affection, perhaps, and confusion and, mostly, apology."

"Spider said nothing, but a miserable expression crept across his face, and he no longer looked like a doctor: now he looked like a man who had borrowed a white coate from behind a door and was worried that someone would notice."
(Actually, he looks like Charlie. That's why I liked this quote.)

"And then, after the kiss was done, how he stood, like a man who had just discovered the art of standing and had figured out how to do it better than anyone else who would ever come along."
(Interesting way of portraying happiness.)

"'Do you think we can make this work?' she asked.
'I think so,' said Spider soberly. 'And if I get bored with you, I'll just go away and do something else. So not to worry.'"
(I imagined him saying this perfectly seriously. No joke here whatsoever. It only works that way. Other way is not funny.)

Weird thing I didn't understand: Why didn't Rosie and Spider have any kids? Not that I minded exactly that they didn't, it's just that he seemed to emphasize it, and I don't understand the significance.

Charmed Life

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good

I've been seeing this book at the library for ages, but I always thought it was either stupidly modern, or very badly written. As it turns out, I was quite wrong. I really enjoyed it. Cat was very sweet, I thought. Much more the type of main character I enjoy than is often found nowadays. I liked how Chrestomanci had a wife, and she was rather plump and vague. And the illustrations were cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Band of Brothers

by Stephen Ambrose

Grade: Good
Reason: I don't think I would have been have been able to get through it if I hadn't seen the mini-series. However, with that, I was interested in the people, so I finished it.

Favourite parts: The descriptions of the men, especially of Captain Sobel and Lt. Spiers. Also the parts at Bastogne.

Least favourite parts: Towards the end, it got a bit more boring. And there were too many references to people that weren't in the series much. Of course, that wasn't Stephen Ambrose's fault.


by Patricia MacLachlan

Grade: Good
Reason: It's a little book. Short, and sweet. Lovely prose, as Christina said.

Favourite parts: Oh, I don't know. It was too short to really have a favourite part.
Least favourite parts: Ditto.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Song for Summer

by Eva Ibbotson

Grade: All right
Reason: It was good. I read it all the way through, and I like Eva Ibbotson's style of writing quite a bit. However, there was lots I didn't like. There were lots of pre-marital sex (nothing graphic, though) and I didn't like the hero all that much.

Favourite parts: Whenever music was mentioned. To think, I actually knew who Stravinksy and Schoenberg were! Also this quote:

"Jean-Pierre came...a brilliant mathematician who professed to loathe children and could send them out of his classes reeling with excitment about calculus..."

I would love to be able to do that. I would ADORE it. Reeling with excitement about calculus? Ah, the glory...

Least favourite parts: The end was weird. I'm glad poor old Kendrick had a moderately happy ending.

Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City

by Kirsten Miller

Grade: Good/To Own
Reason: Kiki was totally like Kay-Kay-Bay (an OC of mine). I'd like to buy it to put in a thief collection, together with Montmorency and Evil Genius. Otherwise, it was all right, but not spectacular.

Favourite parts: The descriptions of Kiki, most of the things she said and did. I loved her. I loved her motorcycle and her hair and her affection for her bodyguard.

Least favourite parts: The other girls could have been more interesting. The had some potential, however, so I'm hopeful about the sequel.

I, Coriander

by Sally Gardner

Grade: All right
Reason: It was kind of strange...but that wasn't the problem. I'm not sure what it was. Somehow, I didn't like it very much.

Favourite parts: I liked how some of the secondary characters were portrayed. Hester and Gabriel were rather sweet, I suppose.

Least favourite parts: I didn't like Tycho as much as I ought to have, and I wished Edmund Bedwell was nice, which he wasn't at all.

Sorcery & Cecilia OR The Enchanted Chocolate Pot

by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

Grade: Good
Reason: It was fun, but it could have been better. I like the heroes to a certain extent, and they had potential, but they were too similar to each other, so I couldn't decide which I liked better. Same with the heroines.

Favourite parts: I liked how bad James was at sneaking. Also the title is pretty cool.

Least favourite parts: There were some parts that I thought could have been written better, especially parts that had potential, but weren't as good as I'd hoped.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Secret Countess

by Eva Ibbotson

Grade: Good
Reason: I almost had it "All right", but it was better than I expected, and the hero wasn't too bad, and Anna wasn't the usual almost feminist heroine. It was "Romancey" (countess and earl!), but without all lot of things that annoy me terribly.

Favourite parts: I liked the Russian-ness of it. I loved Anna's curtsy when she first met the earl. And I liked the Tom/Susie stuff.

Least favourite parts: I didn't quite like the climax for some reason.

EDIT: Upon giving it to Christina, and upon her loving it, I've decided that I liked it better than I thought. It still isn't "To Own" or anything. Or even "To Re-read", I think. But Anna is the best heroine I've come across in a little while.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Summary 1

There's no particular reason to have a summary here, except that I feel like it.

Historical interest is rising in several areas. Montmorency had the cool Victorian history (which I actually emailed Ms. Updale about!); the Poor Relations weren't as historically interesting as Georgette Heyer, but had their interest all the same (I do find Regency quite interesting); The Golden Hour had French Revolution stuff, which is cool.

There were a number of cool characters, but not as many as I would have liked. My favourites, I believe, are Dr. Robert Farcett (Montmorency series), Sir Philip Sommerville (The Poor Relation series), Cadel Piggott (Evil Genius), Marius, aka Phelan, aka "the stranger" (Ysabel), and Roy Straitley (Gentlemen and Players).

Montmorency was a fascinating find--interesting style which I haven't really seen before; Mrs. Budley's romance was a pleasant surprise at first (her Romantic interest was the best Chesney Romantic interest yet); Gentlemen and Players was way better than I thought at first, and I might read it again someday; and Ysabel had a cool wolf-like Roman and the modern stuff didn't bother me (I might even read more of Guy Gavriel Kay).

However, His Majesty's Dragon (disappointingly) hasn't turned out good enough for me to manage to read the sequal; Marion Chesney is getting very fatiguing (luckily I only have two left to read); my Georgette Heyer (Frederica, which I forgot to put on here) was not as good as I hoped; there were at least four boring books (although not completely boring); none of the books totally and absolutely grabbed me; and I don't have any characters to add to my list of all time favourite characters--the characters of whom I'd like to have portraits hung up on my wall.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


by Guy Gavriel Kay

Grade: Good
Reason: It had a lot of almost new-agey stuff in it, but I liked it. I even almost liked Ned, which I really didn't think I would. And I didn't mind Kate either. When I first read that there was a girl, I thought I'd hate the love-interest part of it. But actually, it wasn't too bad--maybe because they joked about it being the love interest so much? I liked the Celtic stuff in it and the historical stuff. And Ned was Canadian, and it took place in France. And I like people with magic powers. And there was a Roman! I liked him. But why was he bald?

Favourite part: When he meets the Roman for the second and third time, and when they say good-bye to him, and when he and the blonde antler guy walk into the chasm. It was a cool end, actually. For some reason, I also liked when he got terribly sick because of the blood.

Least favourite part: Too much swearing.

Sir Philip's Folly

by Marion Chesney

Grade: All right
Reason: This was my least favourite of the Poor Relations series so far. Sir Philip was more gross than amusing. The Romance was as usual: not that great.

Favourite part: I suppose when they met the actor, and some ensuing parts with the actor. I didn't love him, but he was an interesting new character.

Least favourite part: A lot of it--Mrs. Budge and Sir Philip, the immodest clothing, Arabella's romance.

See the previous books: Lady Fortescue Steps OutMiss Tonks Turns to Crime, and Mrs. Budley Falls From Grace.

Wildwood Dancing

by Juliet Marillier

Grade: Unfinished
Reason: Perhaps it was because I read a review that said it was predictable. Perhaps it was because Costi was too "free" and he annoyed me and he married Jena. Perhaps I was in the wrong mood and will love it some other day.

Favourite part: Sorrow looked slightly promising, but his romance seemed doomed to be a bit too mushy.

Least favourite part: Costi.

Evil Genius

by Catherine Jinks

Grade: Good/To Own
Reason: The title says it all! Another book I wish I had written. I would put it next to Montmorency on my bookshelf. It's better than Artemis Fowl, I think. Less bathroom humour, for one thing, and Cadel is more sympathetic. Poor guy--I felt very sorry for him.

Favourite parts: Where Cadel is all curled up under the bed, and when he wreaks havoc on his high school

Least favourite parts: When it was too confusing (especially at the end). I mean, who is Thaddeus Roth exactly? But there's a sequal Genius Squad, which I am greatly looking forward to. And apparently there's Genius Wars after that.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Montmorency's Revenge

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To own
Reason: I liked this one better than the last one. There were some twists I didn't expect--like Fr. Michael. I certainly had no idea about that one. But it worked, I think. I'm also glad that the American girl, Mary, seems to be coming back into the picture.

Favourite part: Poor Dr. Farcett! I felt immensly sorry for him. I liked his first bout of insanity that you read about in the book.
Least favourite part: Some boring parts again, I guess.

Mrs. Budley Falls From Grace

by Marion Chesney

Grade: To Re-read
Reason: Exactly the same as the other Marion Chesney book. I'm not going to repeat the whole thing, so you'll have to go and find my reviews for the others yourself. (See Lady Fortescue Steps Out and Miss Tonks Turns to Crime.)

Favourite part: Like always, I enjoyed the Poor Relations' part of the ending. In this case, it was Miss Tonks' and Sir Philip's journey out to Mrs. Budley's wedding. Poor Miss Tonks...
Least favourite part: The Romance of course. Actually, this one was a bit better in some respects. He actually didn't adore her from the moment he saw her, and he proposed straight away which was amusing. But then it got worse until it was just as bad as the others.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gentlemen and Players

by Joanne Harris

Grade: Good
Reason: There was some stuff that bothered me a bit, especially in the middle. But it was good and engaging for the most part. I loved Mr. Straitley.

Favourite part: I must admit, I liked the part where Mr. Straitley triumphed--or at least, where he didn't die. The whole end was my favourite, I think. It changed the feeling of the whole book. In fact, after the end, I liked the villain, which I didn't really before.

Least favourite part: Some parts in the middle when I thought the villain was someone else and when Leon was being a jerk. He was supposed to be a jerk, but I disliked him so much that I wish he wasn't so much of a jerk.

Montmorency and the Assassins

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To own
Reason: See all the past reviews of Montmorency books. Again, it was a bit uneven and sometimes boring, and most of it I wouldn't read again. But the series as a whole has a certain charm, and I might want to own all of them some day.

Favourite part: I don't really know. This wasn't my favourite Montmorency book all together. I guess my favourite parts would be the parts with Dr. Farcett, because I like him best (I think).

Least favourite part: Some boring parts. And I didn't particularily take to Frank, so maybe the parts with him.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Montmorency on the Rocks

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: Good/To Own
Reason: It was good, and I enjoyed it, but I don't need to own it. Unless I decided that I wanted all the Montmorency books, which I might, just because of their titles and subjects and because they have neat characters.

Favourite part: The parts with the three gentlemen together, especially when they were having fun.

Least favourite part: Some parts in the middle that I don't even remember because they were boring.

Miss Tonks Turns to Crime

by Marion Chesney

Grade: To Re-read
Reason: It was as fun as Lady Fortescue Steps Out. Again we have amusing poor, elderly upper-class people running a hotel and stealing necklaces to get their money. Again we have a very Romancey romance between a handsome young aristocrat and a beautiful but poor girl. Again I thought that part of things very annoying. But again I loved the Poor Relations, despite the fact that it probably wasn't very realistic.

Favourite part: When Miss Tonks returns to tell of her victory and when Sir Philip gets wacked on the head.

Least favourite part: Almost all the parts with Cassandra and the Lord Eston. I can't help being annoyed, I'm sorry. It seemed to exactly the same as Harriet and the Duke of Rowcester.

The Golden Hour

by Maiya Williams

Grade: Good
Reason: It had some neat information about the French Revolution era, and some neat ideas for a time travel book, and it portrayed Marie Antionette nicely.

Favourite part: When they went to the hotel. It sounded really cool, even if it hadn't been a magic, time-traveling place.

Least favourite part: When Rowen started talking about believing in himself. I liked how Rowen gained confidence throughout the book, but I don't like people talking about "believing in yourself".

His Majesty's Dragon

by Naomi Novik

Grade: Good
Reason: It was a cool mix. You wouldn't think to find dragons in a typical Horatio Hornblower/Patrick O'Brian type novel. And the dragons are cool too. They're not too wise. In fact, some are rather stupid.

Favourite part: It was sad, but I liked the part where the French spy was separated from his poor dragon. And I liked the three dragons together--Temeraire, Maximus, and even Lily too. And I liked poor little Levitas too.

Least favourite part: Jane was annoying. Too old--but then Captain Harcourt would have been too young. I think it was because she seemed feminist.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blow Out the Moon

by Libby Koponen

Grade: All right
Reason: I liked how it showed the differences between English and Americans, but I found it a bit boring. I did manage to read it all the way through, but it got harder as I went. I shouldn't judge it too harshly, though. It is a kids book.

Favourite part: When she sang "God Save the Queen" and when she told Henry that she didn't feel totally American anymore.

Least favourite part: The parts with Henry, who annoyed me, even though he was hardly in it. Actually, it was more her attitude towards him that annoyed me. Why did she have to keep on repeating that she "really, really" liked him?

Lady Fortescue Steps Out

by Marion Chesney

Grade: To Re-read
Reason: It was fun. Not good enough all round to own, I don't think. But fun.
I thought parts of it were far too "Romancey". However, Sir Philip was very amusing, and I like Lady Fortescue. I'm looking forward to the sequels, to see how the rest of the Poor Relations turn out.

Favourite part: All the parts where the Poor Relations are together and arguing.

Least favourite part: Almost all the parts with Harriet and the Duke of Rowcester. I skipped some of these.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro

Grade: All right
Reason: I found it kind of creepy, frankly. I read to the very end because there was a sense of mystery about the whole thing, and I wanted to find out what it all meant. However, I didn't like the characters and I think maybe it was too "grown up" for my personal tastes.

Favourite part: It grabbed me right away, and I read it straight through to the end, practically without stopping. The atmosphere was, I think the best and worst part. Gripping, but tragic and not endusive of the lovely glow you sometimes get when reading a book straight through.

Least favourite part: What I talked about above. Too philosophically tragic, maybe. I'll probably read it again when I'm older, and think about the moral questions raised.

EDIT: Ok, I found a perfect description. Someone somewhere said (about a totally different book) "Not a great book, but in an addictive way chillingly odd..if that makes sense." That's pretty accurate for my view of this book. And it makes perfect sense.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?

by Eleanor Updale

Grade: To Own
Reason: Because of the general atmosphere. I'd love to have a thief book on my shelf. And not "To Re-read" because I didn't love Montmorency, I only liked him.
This book has three sequals, and I'm very glad. Firstly, there's a young, gentlemanly, seemingly fairly nice, ambitious young doctor, plus the main character is a thief turned gentleman. I'd love to be able to write a book like this. And what a cool title!
And thankfully, it was not too "modern". The style was simple, there were no feminist, tomboy love interests, and the gentleman part of things wasn't too...what's the word? Gushy?

Favourite part: When he first becomes a gentleman (I wish there were still gentlemen like that around) and the last part with Lord George Fox-Selwyn and Dr. Farcett.

Least favourite part: I didn't take to Scarper. I think it's the name. Seems "cute" somehow, even though it isn't even remotely.