Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Merlin Conspiracy

by Diana Wynne Jones

Grade: Good
Story: There are a lot of different worlds and some politics. Also magicians. Roddy sees something very bad and no one will believe her. All Nick wants to do is go to different worlds. Then the end of the worlds almost happens.

I'm pretty sure I started this one once and left it unfinished, but it's not on my blog that I can find anywhere. Anyway, I'm not sure why I left it unfinished the first time. It's quite interesting, although not as much as many of hers.

Roddy was a fairly good character, I thought. Even more so when you saw her from Nick's point of view. That was when you really discovered how good a writer DWJ is--because you haven't before this. I mean, the story before is good, but as I mentioned, not the very best of DWJ. But personally, I thought when you saw how annoying Roddy was from Nick's POV, but you already knew Roddy from her own POV, she was a much deeper character than expected.

EDIT: Found it. It was from November 23, 2008. I said this:
Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 125

I actually got a fair ways through this, and I still didn't love it. So in the Unfinished pile it goes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Blue Castle

by L. M. Montgomery

Grade: Good
Story: Valancy is going to die, so she lives life instead of being miserable with her horrid relatives.

Well, I actually really liked this one. There are a few reasons:

--I had been having difficulty with the cover for years. Now that I've read the book, the cover isn't so bad. But it sure was a deterrent at first. The second deterrent was the name Barney, which I really didn't like the first time I tried to read it. Plus, I didn't know the first time that they got married half way through the book. Once I found that out, it made all the difference.

--AND I didn't mind the romance. I've been in a stage of not minding romances, right after Thirteenth House. Maybe I disliked that romance so much that all the rest afterwards seemed really great. Plus, they were married. I do love married couple romances.

Also, BOY her relatives were annoying. Almost too annoying to stand.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

by Louis de Bernieres

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 10 or 11.

I'm not totally sure why I stopped. Maybe because it mentioned on the back a love triangle which included two people who are already engaged? I mean, they're not married yet, so it doesn't really matter, but still. I have to really like one of the characters to like a love triangle, and I wasn't sure I was going to in this case. However, I'm still meaning to read it someday. When I get around to it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


by Kelly Creagh

Grade: To Own
Story: Isobel is a cheerleader who's forced to collaborate with a weird Goth boy on a English project. Then there's lots of Poe stuff.

I'm having trouble knowing what to say about this book. I'm not sure why. So I'll just list points:

--It on "To Own" because it's the perfect book if one is very interested in Edgar Allan Poe. I like to collect books about other books or authors or what have you, because I'm sure to get terribly interested in them one day.

--I actually liked the Romance. I don't really know why. I'd like to ruminate on it some more, but I only have three minutes until my Lenten penance takes effect. (No internet after 5:00.)

--The last third of the book was rather disconnected from the first two thirds. They didn't exactly go together terribly well. However:

--There's a sequel! Yay!!! And good thing, because it ends with no definite conclusion at all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reader and Raelynx

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good
Story: Cammon falls in love.

Kay, not as good as the other ones. Well, maybe better than Thirteenth House. One of the main problems is everybody sleeping together before marriage, which really drives me nuts. Especially when they get married anyway shortly after--I mean, can't you just wait a very short time?
Anyhoo, for mostly those reasons, Justin is still my favourite character. He and Ellynor are the only ones so far who are all of the below:
--wife is very feminine
--will have babies! With an 's'! Lots! (Ok, I mean, I guess this last one isn't definite, but it was definitely hinted at.)

But all the things I said in below reviews of this series about the characters still apply. So I am reluctantly giving it a "Good". Although there is the fact that I read it in one night. That is always an indication of some level of goodness--if only in the "good at writing books which are rather addictive" way.

See the first books: Mystic and RiderThe Thirteenth House, and Dark Moon Defender, and the next book: Fortune and Fate.

Friday, March 18, 2011


by Ingrid Law

Grade: Good
Story: Ledger has a savvy--and it's a bad one.
Sequel to Savvy.

I love the Beaumont family. Every single last one of them. And so even though some of them only had extremely small cameos (like Mibs--I think hers was the smallest (except for Tucker)), I gobbled up every last bit of the parts about them. Like Fish's wedding! And Will and Mibs! And Gyspy! She's going to turn out very interesting indeed, I think. And then Rocket and Samson, of course, had slightly larger roles, which was wonderful.

However, bookshelvesofdoom was right, as she often is, in that this one wasn't quite as good as the first. Ledger simply wasn't as interesting a narrator as Mibs. And although his twin cousins and his little sister and Sarah Jane are awesome and unique, like all the characters in these books, they're not quite as awesome as the Beaumont family. (She does continue the cool naming system. Like Marisol and Mesquite--the twins--and Ledger and Fedora, and Autry and Tucker. They can get pretty weird sometimes, but they're so terribly suitable to the characters that you don't mind.)

But I was fully satisfied and I hope to goodness she writes more books someday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dark Moon Defender

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good
Story: Justin falls in love.

So. Now I have to write on all three books in a very interesting manner. Do you think I can? I don't.

--Justin is still my favourite character. I must admit, I'd had this hope that he might fall for Kirra. But the fascinating this about this series, I'm finding, is how unique and real the characters seem. At one point, Senneth and Kirra are talking about the unexpectedness of who Justin decided to fall in love with and how it was actually very suitable, and I realized that they were quite right. All of these characters' romances were exactly suitable to their characters, even if unexpected.

--Sometimes I wish romances were never written for the main characters. The problem is that main character is in LOVE. They're not going to be reasonable, and they're going to be all mushy and stuff. It can be delightful to see it or experience it (I presume), but I don't know if you really would want to be in someone else's head when they're experiencing it. They tend to be a little too single minded and willing to be all ... squishy.
Or it could be written for the main character, but less from their POV, because there certainly are books where the main character falls in love and I enjoy it quite a lot.

--On her website, Shinn says that originally the book had a cover where Justin looked exactly like Josh Holloway. That would have been TERRIBLE. I would have never liked Justin if I thought he looked like Josh Holloway. Nothing against Josh Holloway, though. I admit he is very handsome, and Sawyer ended up being one of my favourite characters on LOST. But--but--not in books! Books are different than movies. I can like Josh Holloway characters in movies, but not ever in books, I don't think.
Now, mind you, the present cover isn't great either. There's still a faint Josh Holloway resemblance. But it's bearable.

--There's a possibility I might want to own this series. It's not one I'd recommend to most people (although you can read it, Christina, if you're reading this). There's too much "content" for one thing. But I find that the characters stick in my brain. It would be sad to not ever see them again. I'll have to read the last book before I decide for sure.

See the first books: Mystic and Rider and The Thirteenth House, and the next books: Reader and Raelynx and Fortune and Fate.

The Thirteenth House

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good
Story: Kirra makes a STUPID MISTAKE. Plus there's politics and stuff.

Did I mention the STUPID MISTAKE??? Grrrrr. She drove me rather crazy in this one. But the fact that she made a good decision in the end made it all better, and I was willing to continue reading the series. Plus all the other characters are still awesome. So it's still "Good", because it's in this series. But it was rather hard to get through at times because of what Kirra was doing. (Although obviously not too hard, as I read it in a day.)

See the first book: Mystic and Rider, and the next books: Dark Moon DefenderReader and Raelynx, and Fortune and Fate.

Mystic and Rider

by Sharon Shinn

Grade: Good
Story: Six companions are travelling about on a mission for the king. They have adventures and are generally awesome.

Well. I liked this loads better than I expected. I really think having six main characters can make all the difference to me.

Anyway. I made a bad mistake. I finished three of these books before I had time to write up on this one. I find it very difficult to write or think about previous books in a series when I've just finished reading the latest one. (Which is why I still haven't properly read the first three books in the Harry Potter series, despite considering myself a major HP fan.)

But a few remembered thoughts about this one:
--The romance wasn't my favourite kind of romance, but I could stand it very well. Probably because of the six main characters thing.
--I decided my favourite of the six was Justin (maybe because of his hair colour? And I love the sort of motherly relationship Senneth has with him. But that's mostly for the later books, except for the part where Tayse was captured (which was sweet--awwwww).). Then Cammon (who's just awesome). Then Kirra. Then Senneth (who grew on me more and more, so that by the last book I quite loved her. I didn't love her in this book.). I don't know why I didn't like Donnal very much. I SHOULD have, because he was awesome too.

... and I don't have any more remembered thoughts. Boy, am I bad at this right now. Hopefully by the time I get to the latest book in this series that I've read, I'll actually have some grasp again on how to write.

See the sequels: The Thirteenth House, Dark Moon Defender, Reader and Raelynx, and Fortune and Fate.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Egypt Game

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Grade: All right

I think I would have liked it if I were younger. Probably quite a lot. But it's not one of those children's books that is so wonderfully awesome that you love it when you're 21. At least, you don't if you're me.

Also, I probably shouldn't get annoyed about this--maybe it shows that I'm evil or something. But it really goes out of it's way to be PC. There is very carefully one of each of the major races for the three girls, and then one of each for the three boys too. (Caucasian, Asian, African.) Other races is GOOD. There should be MORE other races and all that. BUT... it shouldn't be so obvious. It should just happen. Anyway, enough on that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hex Hall

by Rachel Hawkins

Grade: Unfinished
Read: To page 20.

Because page 20 is where it says this: "I turned. Leaning against a tree, his collar unbuttoned and tie loose, was a smirking guy. His Hecate blazer was hanging limply in the crook of his elbow."

There's a reason why I don't read chick-lit stuff. I get to the sentence like that, and I simply can't get myself to read any farther, even if the book contains Lord Byron as an English teacher and a mysterious murder. (And yes, I checked the end to make sure leany-smirky guy was the love interest. I'm not stupid enough to skip a book with Lord Byron as an English teacher if there's a possibility that the love interest isn't leany and smirky and handsome and sexy and why-do-I-hate-him-so-much-?-oh-I-guess-it's-because-I'm-really-attracted-to-him-y.)

It's kind of annoying, actually. I mean the fact that I can't read any farther. Maybe I'll grow out of it, and learn to adore the amazingly cute love interests who first appear leaning and smirking. I really do hope I do, because they appear in quite a lot of books, and it really bothers me that I can't continue reading after that.

You know what? I think it's almost all about first impressions for me. In other words, if they first turn up leaning against a tree in a sexy manner, I'll hate them. If they show up more slowly, seeming like they might just be a secondary character, I might even love them despite their sexiness. Maybe. I have to think about this more.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


by Ingrid Law

Grade: To Own
Story: See back cover: "What if your grandpa moves mountains, one of your brothers causes hurricanes, another creates electricity, ... and now it's your turn?"

Perfect, Lovely, Awesome. Just the sort of book I like. It has the eccentric family, the cool powers, the minimal (but still present) romance, the completely unique characters, and the general awesomeness.

I'm going to quote the first sentence here, even though everyone else who's ever reviewed it seems to have as well. But it's awesome, you see.

"When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he'd caused it."

Speaking of which, why is Fish such an awesome name for a person? You wouldn't think it, as fish are slimy and smelly. But it is awesome all the same. And Mibs and Rocket and Samson and Gypsy.

I love how, even though Mibs is the main character, a lot of the story is about the secondary characters such as Fish and Lester and all the rest.

In fact, I love the whole thing, but I'm exhausted and stressed so I'm not going to be able to write very well on it. So I'll stop now. Bye.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Diary of Adam and Eve

by Mark Twain

Grade: All right

At first I thought the forward guy (John Updike) was speaking rubbish when he talked on and on about "[h]is quarrel with God" and all that. But actually, it does get a bit like that in "Eve Speaks". But it's an understandable emotion, at least, even if not accurate to the meaning of Genesis.

 "Passage from Eve's Autobiography (Year of the World 920)" is very strange indeed. I don't quite see its point.
"The Diary of Adam and Eve" is my favourite, and is quick and amusing without being irreverent.
The rest are ok, but not worth writing about at this time of night.