Monday, May 25, 2009

Howl's Moving Castle

By Diana Wynne Jones

When you are the eldest of three you are doomed to fail. Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three sisters who was to inherit her father's hatshop and live a very dull life indeed. But after the Witch of the Waste comes in to buy a hat and doesn't find what she likes, she curses Sophie to be an old woman. Sophie decides she has nothing to stay for and leaves to find her fortune. Instead she falls in with the dubious Wizard Howl and his fire demon, getting herself into a bargain she didn't plan for. If she can break the contract between the wizard and his demon, then the demon will take the curse off of her. In an adventure full of magic, laughs, and wonderful twists, Sophie will find that perhaps it isn't so bad to be the eldest of three!

This book is my favorite. Diana has a style clearly her own that rings out with a dry and truly amusing humor. Her books are full of magic that is both easy to understand and very creative and new. And her characters are some you will never forget after reading. Howl is hilarious and one of my favorite characters in a book. Sophie will have you rolling with her antics. This book is just fun to read and purely entertaining. It's got everything a reader could want. I highly recomend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story and loveable characters with a great adventure to boot! (Just as a side note, my email is actually a line from this book, that's how much I love it!) Here comes green slime! ^_^

Fun Facts: Diana lives in England, so her stories have all the fun words like, 'bother' and 'drat'! in them. She has written over 30 books for youth. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci are great fun to read, as well as the Dalemark Quartet along with the two sequels to Howl's Moving Castle; Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways. If you like Howl, there's more where that came from! Also, Howl's Moving Castle was made into an animated movie that is very good, but very very different from the movie. While they are very different though, I like them both almost equally well. (The book is still better.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Host

by Stephenie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has already succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
While Wanderer has been tasked with finding the remaining humans by searching Melanie's thoughts, something unexpected happens: Melanie fills her head with visions of the man she loves who is still in hiding, and Wanderer, unable to separate herself from her body's desires, falls in love with him too. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

First: there is minimal language in this book, I could count the times it swore on one hand. Second: There are a few scenes with sensual content; excessive making out mostly and a few sexual references. I only mention these things for those who are sensitive to these kind of things (like myself). And now...drum-roll please.............I liked it!! I was plesantly surprised because this book was so much better than the Twilight series, which by the way I greatly dislike (to put it mildly). It had the depth that I missed while reading Twilight. This book is about being human and all the good and bad that comes with it. I regularly don't care for alien books, but occasionally there are books like this that simply impress me. Now this also isn't a book I would ever buy simply for some of the content. My rule is: if I wouldn't feel comfortable letting my (future) kids read this then I won't buy it. I wouldn't let teens read it. But I feel that way about Twilight to each his own.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has a hard time focusing in school. In fact, he's never been to the same school two years in a row. The thing is; weird stuff happens to Percy a lot. In fact, he could've sworn that his pre-algebra teacher just tried to kill him. When Percy informs his mother of the strange event, she knows it's time to tell him: he's not completely human. Percy is a demi-god, the son of a greek god, and his mother is sending him to Camp Half-Blood, where Percy can be safe and learn how to survive.
Instead, Percy is thrown into a quest to the underworld, along with the daughter of Athena and a satyr, to prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

"I accidentally vaporize my pre-algebra teacher". That's what got me hooked on this series. That is the first chapter heading in The Lightning Thief. If you ever studied greek mythology in school, you will no doubt love this series. It gives a fun new spin on the ancient greek gods and an adventure around every turn. This book might be for kids, but man, I enjoyed it just as much. The only thing that gets on my nerves in this book is how they make up their own way to swear by using the names of the greek gods. Otherwise, it is fantastic, and more than entertaining to read. This is one of those books I don't like to read in a public place because I have to strangle my laughter and I end up sounding like a goat! Give this series a try, and you'll be hooked with the first sentence.

Fun Facts: The adventures of Percy Jackson have just come to an end in The Last Olympian, fresh off the shelves. There are five books in all and each are worth your time! Another awesome thing: this book is being made into a movie! It will be released February 12 of 2010 and the cast looks interesting to say the least. Sean Bean is going to be Zeus and they have Pierce Brosnan as a centaur...(weird)

Also check out Rick Riordan's website for the series at and you can have Rick himself read you the first chapter of The Lightning Thief!

Monday, May 11, 2009

As Always, Dave

By Jack Weyland

Dave just got back from his two-year mission and heads to New York to talk the love of his life, Abbie, into coming back to Ririe Idaho and becoming his wife. What he finds definately wasn't in his plans. Abbie has gone on with life, and is currently taken. Desperate to win her back, Dave stays in New York and begins what is known as "the single life", going to the singles ward at church and living paycheck to paycheck, and trying to figure out the impossible-girls.
This novel is especially for young single adults who can't figure out why guys can't commit, and what girls do to make it harder than it needs to be. But most of all, it's about God's plan for all of us and how to find yourself.
I love Jack Weyland. He's awesome. Whenever I'm looking for a good LDS fiction book, he's the man I go to; and what self-respecting young single LDS female would pass up a chance to figure out the whole single-scene and dating stuff? This book was a little depressing, because I knew just what it was talking about and saw myself making some of the mistakes that the girls Dave dated were making, and I also doubted if guys really thought like Dave...but I think it's pretty accurate. All in all, I really loved to read this, because it's really close to my life at the moment and it gives me hope that even though I'm not model-material, or a genius, or anything uber-spectacular, I'm still special and one day a good guy is going to see it. I love warm-fuzzy books!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

By Jeff Kinney
Greg is in middleschool. Big whoop. Life is a day-to-day system of torture, I mean, why can't they just play video games instead of going to Phys ed? They have football and stuff. And why is it that in middle school you're either scrawny and small, or hairy and gigantic? Well, Greg tells us all about middle school life in his diary...uh, I mean journal; because one day...he's going to be famous.
This book is pretty funny. Ok, it's outright hilarious. I re-lived some of my good ol' days in middle school with some of the stuff Greg writes. The cartoons are just to die for. Jeff Kinney knows his stuff and this book feels like it was written by a twelve-year old. And it comes with all the hilarity and drama of that age. Wow, this is just fun. I can tell why it is a best seller! You should pick it up and read it, it only took me about two hours, and I'm pretty slow. I'm laughing right now just thinking of the stuff in this book...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fablehaven 4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

By Brandon Mull

Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton's Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap-a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

As usual, Brandon has done an exceptional job. And I congratulate myself for being so patient to read his latest book. It started off strong and ended with a bang! Holy cliffhanger Batman! How can we wait a whole year for the last book? And how the heck will he be able to fit it all into one book? This is going to be awesome: my guess is at least 600 pages of magical goodness. To all who have not started this series, or are not up to date: you must keep reading! I love this series. And Seth is so much better in this one; he's not nearly as annoying and he gets some cool parts in this one. Gotta love the dragons too! I love Fablehaven!!!!

Fun Fact: Brandon Mull has a place on his website where you can request him to come to your school and talk about the books and about reading. If I were still in elementary, I would so have him come...I guess I still act like I'm in elementary. Does that count?

Sundays at Tiffany's

By James Patterson

What if your one true love was your imaginary friend as a child? Michael was Jane's one friend when she was eight years old, the one person who loved her for her and didn't try to change her into something else. But when Michael leaves on her nineth birthday, claiming that she will forget him, she swears she never will. Twenty years later Jane still remembers Michael with fondness, and has even made an incredibly successful play based off of their relationship. When Jane walks into the resteraunt that she and Michael used to go to and she actually sees him again she thinks she's finally snapped. Will she be able to find love for the first time, or is it really all in her head?

Yuck. Yuck yuck. YUCK. I really really hated this book. It was horrid with the worst profanity I've seen in a novel (which isn't really saying much because I mostly read youth books) but it was still really bad. And it had some very inapropriate content, which of course was not until the end of the book so I just finished it anyway. This book sounded so cute, but I should've known better than to trust a book like this. Oh well. Live and learn. DO NOT READ!!! I actually threw this in the garbage. And anyone who knows me; I do not do this unless I don't want anyone else to read it ever.

The Princess and the Hound

By Mette Ivie Harrison

Princess Beatrice is the daughter her father never wanted. Prince George has a gift that is punishable by death in his kingdom. Both are driven by duty and deny themselves everything they truly want in life. Brought together to end an age-old feud between their two kingdoms, they discover that they are the only two people who can save each other. This story is a timeless tale about finding yourself that will please audiences of all ages.

I love it when I find books like this. I read it with a pleasure that made my warm-fuzzies all tingly. But not only that, it made me think. I fell in love with George and his struggles, failures, and successes. This book was indeed surprising, and I honestly didn't figure that it would turn out the way it did. It's a great blend of fantasy and reality. Simply put: read it and you'll enjoy it.

Interesting information: Mette has a great website (www.metteivie that I found really fun that included a blog and information on her three other books. The Princess and the Hound is the first of a trilogy; though I think that it ended well enough to stand on its own.