Monday, August 30, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I am on a children series roll this summer! Paul and I actually redboxed this movie and then I learned it was a book. So, of course, I had to read it. Book one is The Lightening Thief. It's about a boy, Percy Jackson, who finds out at the age of 12 that he is the son of one of the greek gods. Once he realizes he is a demigod, his smell to mythical monsters increases, so he is whisked away to Camp halfblood (a summer camp for demigods, where they learn how to fight). It is at the camp that he learns who his father is (the greek god) and that Percy is being blamed for stealing Zeus's original lightening bolt (the source of his power...or something like that). He goes with some friends on a quest to find the bolt before a war breaks out between the gods, which in turn affects the world.

I love these books! I love greek mythology and so it's a great way to learn the stories, plus it's just a fun read. You could stop at the first book, but you'll get hooked and will end up reading all of them. I'm pretty sure I make these books sound super lame, but they really are good and easy reads! You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Watership Down

I SOOO did not want to read this book. It was just me being stubborn. Plus I had heard that this was a boy book...kind of like Catcher in the Rye (which I read and wasn't too fond of). But, I got a huge pile of classics and since Drew was so insistent that I read Watership Down, I thought: What the heck!

It's about bunnies. Rabbits. That was another drawback for me. Two bunnies leave their warren (bunny community) because one of them had a feeling the warren is going to be destroyed. They take some other bunnies with them. All these bunnies are male so far. The adventure out and finally find the perfect place to start their new warren. However, they soon realize that if they don't get some lady folk in there soon, they're not gonna last very long. So they find another (bigger) warren kind of close to them and they go and ask for some female bunnies. However, this warren basically has an insane leader. Half the book is them dealing with this other warren, called the Efrafa.

I liked the book, actually. I was a more boyish book because it's all male for most of the book and there's some violence, but it was a good, interesting book. Definitely recommend reading it! Especially since it's considered a classic!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Watch out! It's a long list!

Syren- book 5 of septimus heap story

Who knew this book existed? I didn't until I saw it in the library. The story continues. Everyone ends up on an island (it all makes sense when you read it) where an evil plot to take over the castle is afoot. Septimus and friends must overcome all odds and overthrough the plans. Can they do it? Read to find out!

Amelia Peabody Series (there are too many books to review separately) by Elizabeth Peters

The first book is titled Crocodile in the Sandbank.

These books are about a no-nonsense Englishwoman named Amelia Peabody. She is an archeologist that goes back and forth between England and Egypt (although most of the books are in Egypt) with her family. As they are excavating she seems to find trouble along the way that she can't help but solve (the books are mysteries...can you tell).

The books are really funny once you get into them. I've read quite a few and have liked all of them. Elizabeth Peters is kind of long winded sometimes, but I didn't notice it until a had already read a few of the books. The characters are all so absurd...or strong personalities it makes it very funny.

Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

I LOVE this book. I thought of it this summer and just had to read it. It's about a girl, Kit, that was born and raised in Barbados, who comes over to live with her puritan aunt and uncle in Connecticut. It's all about how she is trying to fit in and yet how odd she thinks everything is. She meets a Quaker widow who lives in a meadow and becomes friends. Some unfortunate events happen in which Kit is accused of being a Witch. It's a great read! If you haven't read it, or it's been a long time, pick it up and read it again, you won't be disappointed.

Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare

When I can't think of a book I want to read, I look for books by an author I've liked. This was one of those books.

Miriam and her sister's family are forced from their home by Indians. They are unsure if they are going to be killed, sold as slaves, or who knows what else. The story is about their unbelievable story (based on a true story written by Miriam's sister Susanna). They live in an indian village, then sold into slavery in Montreal (this is during the French and Indian War, so the English and French are not on good terms), the family is ripped apart, some are still in the indian village and others in different places in Montreal. It is all told in Miriam's point of view. It was a very good read. Don't worry there is romance in it. It really is a great book. I loved it!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Septimus Heap series

This series started out as a quick grab of the first at the library. I had never heard of it, but I read the back and it sounded cute, so I picked it up. Little did I know that I would get hooked and continue to read the other book in this series. They are fun. At first, I was just counting all the ways it was like Harry Potter (and falling short), but then I got over it and ended up really enjoying the books. So, my advice, go into reading them knowing their are similarities with harry Potter and it is not as good, but put it behind you and keep reading!

Magyk- Book 1

This book is about a family (the Heap's) that have lost their seventh son, but that same night adopt a little girl. 10 years later they find out who the little girl is and what really happened to their youngest son. An evil wizard, who everyone thought was dead, has returned and is trying to kill the "Heap" girl and take over the castle. The story is about their discoveries as they are "running" from this man.

Flyte- Book 2

This book is about Septimus (he know is the apprentice of the ExtraOrdinary Wizard) as he tries to save Jenna (the adopted Heap sister) from the apprentice of the evil wizard in the first book. Once again the evil wizard is trying to take over the castle.

Physik- book 3
An old evil queen is "unleashed" from a painting and tries to become queen once again. Septimus is dragged back into time and jenna and some brothers and friends go back to try and save him. 2 are unable to get out of the past, but the others make it out and stop the evil queen (who's time they had gone back to when she was actually the queen and discover her evil secrets).

Queste- book 4

Jenna and Septimus are determined to get the other 2 out of the past and are set back when an old evil ghost is determined to have septimus die through a required quest. Septimus is tricked into it, but tries to ignore it by going with Jenna and others to find the House where all times merge to get the 2 back into the right time.

Ok, I know this isn't the best review and it probably SEEMS dumb, but I couldn't say too much or else I'd give away the books. They really are good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Wow. I had no idea what this book was about and based on the front cover and what I kind of thought most of Picoult's books were about, I was taken by surprised. It's not some cheesy romance novel.

In the small town of Sterling, New Hampshire, Peter Houghton has been picked on all his life. He just can't fit in. His best friend Josie keeps him grounded until she leaves him for the popular crowd. He commits a violent crime in high school and turns their worlds upside down.

This book made me really think about how I was raising Luke. Am I doing everything right? Will I believe him when he comes home and tells me about his day at school? Will I be perceptive enough to know something is wrong? Even if we think we're doing everything right, what if we're not? I'm so grateful for the Gospel and to know that if you teach your kid righteously, they'll have the resources to turn to later.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Something Blue by Emily Giffin

This is the sequel to Something Borrowed.

So, in the last book, we hear things from Rachel's perspective, but in this book we hear from Darcy, the crazy best friend. Darcy learns that maybe being as shallow as she has been isn't what will bring her happiness. And she's in for a MAJOR life change.

I really enjoyed these books. Easy reads, but not just fluff. I recommend them!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

CUTE CUTE CUTE! I loved it!

Rachel is a New York attorney and has a crazy best friend, Darcy. Darcy is always getting the better end of the deal in life. Darcy is currently engaged to Dex, who is basically perfect. But are Darcy and Dex really the perfect couple they seem to be? Maybe not so much...

I thought this book was super cute and I want to read the next book, Something Blue. The end of the book actually doesn't completely resolve itself, so I kinda HAVE to read the next one.

Okay, two books I tried to read recently and did NOT like.
- The Devil's Queen by Jeanne Kalogridis: This book was all witchcrafty and I didn't feel comfortable reading it. Which is why I stopped reading it early. Don't even pick it up.
- Consider Lily by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt: There is only one word I can use for this book: OBNOXIOUS. Seriously, this book is poorly written and SO annoying to read. I bought it from my library for .25 and I still don't want to finish it. It's just that bad.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

Let me just say, I think this book would have more meaning to me if I had a sister. With that said, I will now critique it:

It had too much sexuality. I almost put the book down for good at one point. But I kept reading and it turned out to be a decent novel. The story is about two sisters, Maggie and Rose. Rose is successful in her career and smart, while Maggie is pretty and successful with men. Maggie makes some dumb decisions and the two sisters end up not talking for a while. There's also another character in the story who makes things interesting; her name is Ella (but I don't want to ruin it for you!).

Bec, since you have sisters, you may want to read this book and it'll make you grateful for your sisters and make you want to call them. But just be forewarned that in the first half, Maggie's kinda skanky. Uncomfortably so. But I do like Jennifer Weiner's way of writing, so I thought it was a well-written book.

P.S. While I looked for this picture, I found out that this book was made into a movie! It has Cameron Diaz and that girl from Emma (Emma's friend) Toni Collette. Anyway, it's rated PG13, maybe I'll go get it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Warning: this is book 1 of a series and you will want to read the next one as soon as you finish the first (I'm dying to know what happens, as I have to wait for the second book to become available in the library)

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

This book is a 'research' book that looks into different situations (obviously unusual and extra-ordinary situations) and shows why those situations are extraordinary. It talks about Bill Gates and how he became successful, why famous hockey players are mostly born between Jan- Mar., what lead to Korean Airline crashes and how they turned it around. It was such a cool book. I highly recommend it. It's really not a research book, but he does present information or data, but please don't be deterred. It's not like a textbook at all, it's really good.

"A Book of a Thousand Days" and "River Secrets"by Shannon Haleand

A book of a Thousand Days:
A girl goes to work for a wealthy family and the girl makes her promise that she will stay with her always. She promises and then finds out that the girl refused to marry a wealthy man and her father is putting her in a tower for 7 years or until she decides to marry him. The book is the maids journal and her thoughts, feelings and what they do. Don't worry, there's more to the story, but I don't want to ruin it.

When I started it I thought it was going to be so boring, 7 years in a tower...come on, boring. However, events turn and it ended up being a really good read. I enjoyed it.

River Secrets:
This is about a boy who is good friends with the king and queen (it's been awhile since i"ve read it and I can't remember the names...oops!). He is apart of the army and is suprised to find that he will is asked to be apart of a group that will be escorting a ambassador to a place that they just defeated in war. He continues to find dead bodies that resembles the way his country ended the war. He has to keep covering then up, so as not to start another war. He is trying to find out who is framing his country, and finds himself, as well as a little friend (yes, it's a girl...there has to be romance, right?!)

This book is a branch off (not quite sure if it counts as a trilogy) of the Goose Girl and Enna's burning. I didn't know this when I started, but it referred back to it. However, I couldn't remember the story that well (and I hadn't even read Enna's burning) and it really didn't matter. It did make me want to read the other books though. It was a good read, not the greatest, but still good.

Shannon Hale's writing style isn't my favorite. She really doesn't get to the true plot of the story until well into the book, so I get bored and it takes me awhile to finally get into it.

*Sorry Kathryn about all my run-ons and errors. I'm totally shot tonight. Just think of it as editing practice!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis

Oh my goodness. I LOVED this book. This book is 515 pages and I absolutely loved each page! Seriously, I don't think I can convey how much I loved this book. I really like historical fiction, so I had been reading a lot of Phillipa Gregory but her books have some really raunchy parts in it. But there was nothing even CLOSE to what Phillipa Gregory does.

The story is about Lisa di Antonio Gherardini, or Madonna Lisa, or Mona Lisa. She has secrets from her past that she doesn't even know about and she has to do some crazy stuff to not only find out about it, but to help save lives. The famous Medici family is in charge of Florence, but there is political turmoil, assassinations, love triangles, and I was totally gripped to the end! I think I read 300 pages in one day.

I strongly recommend this book. Strongly.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

I loved loved loved this book. If you've read her other stuff, you know Kinsella has a way of making the awkward moments so funny. I literally laughed out loud many times while reading this book. This is my favorite book of her's so far. If you've read any of her other stuff, you know she's kind of a potty mouth, but I feel like there wasn't as much (maybe it's been awhile since I've read 'Shopaholic'). I highly recommend this book.

Synopsis: It's about a girl, Lara, who is having all kinds of trouble in her life. Boy trouble, work trouble, etc. Her great aunt dies and she has to go to the funeral. At the funeral her dead aunt's ghost comes to her asking her about a necklace (her ghost is in her 20's because she says everyone feels like their in the 20's on the inside). The book is about their interaction with each other as they find the necklace and try to fix other problems. It's really cute! Read it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

I wasn't really sure what to expect with this novel. I'm not a huge science fiction person, so i didn't know if the time traveling thing would get all spacey and sci-fi-y, so I was a little apprehensive.

On a literary scale, this book is great. Very well written. The story was imaginative and character development was wonderful.

You guessed it; there's a but. There was a lot of violence and swearing. And sexuality. It was a timeless love story, but there were some scenes, some phrasing and moments that made me a little squeamish. If I weren't an LDS girl, they might not have been so bad.

For a Reader's Digest of the plot: Henry time travels and can't help it. He meets Clare when she is very young and they are basically predestined for each other. But she has to live with the fact that he time travels. Sometimes he gets hurt or doesn't come back for days at a time. But there's also a wonderful love story unwinding throughout the novel, and I'm always up for a sappy love story. Would I recommend you read it? Yeah, I think so. Just know that this author holds nothing back. Here's the official trailer for ya:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

This is a book that discusses something that Paul and I like to talk about. Science vs. religion. This book deals with the conflicts of the "purists" of each group. One man who is very religious, as well as a scientist, has discovered something that will show that science and religion are linked. A science faction (that ONLY believes in science) springs from the grave, kills the man and takes his experiment and plants it in Vatican city (it's pretty much a massive bomb). Robert Langdon, a expert on this science faction and other religious symbology, is called in to identify and help with discovering this group. Along with the Physicists daughter, who worked with her father on the experiment, they set out to Vatican city to recover the experiment before it goes off. They have 24 hours, but complications arise when 4 cardinals (the pope had just died and they were electing a new Pope, so all the cardinals from around the world are there) disappear and a man from the science faction calls telling them at each hour a cardinal will die. They must follow the clues around Rome to stop the murders as well as find the experiment before it blows Vatican city and some of the surrounding area.

It was a good book, a little disturbing, but good. It was captivating and solidified my stance on science and religion. It also made me sad that people don't know the truth about God and why we are here and where we are going ( will help if you are wondering about these questions). It's not my favorite book, I don't love Dan Brown, but I enjoyed the intellectual adventure. It definitely made me want to go to Rome though!

Night Runner by Max Turner

This is a teen you know where I'm going with this. This book is actually about a vampire. This kid has his life turned upside down when a crazy man crashes into the hospital where he is living and tells him someone is after him. From that point on the kid finds out that he isn't really "sick or diseased", but is a vampire. He finds out his dad wasn't really an archaeologist and someone really is after him. The whole book is about him running, the friends that help him, and his past coming together. It is one of a series (I think it's new, so there are no other books yet). It a fun and easy read. Nothing spectacular, but entertaining and a little different.