I first fell in love with The Princess Academy over a decade ago. I am thrilled that the third and last book has finally been published, it has been a long time coming! If you know me at all you know I have an obsession with Shannon Hale and all of her novels, and these three books definitely did not disappoint. I devoured them and lost many, many hours of sleep over them. They are brilliantly written and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
Sunday, October 16, 2016
This book broke my heart a little. It is beautifully written, dragging a little in the middle, but the story is both heart-wrenching and wonderful. I always knew that there were people in this world who thought less of people with Down Syndrome, but I had no idea how badly it really was in the 1960's. I know we still have a long way to go, but honestly, we have come really far. This book opened my eyes to a world I didn't know before. I really enjoyed this read and would highly recommend it.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
The first book I read is called 'The Other Side of Quiet' by Tara C, Allred. Mrs. Childs is a ninth grade English teacher who teaches a special creative writing class to 10 students. One of the student's assignments is to write in a journal. Mrs. Childs promises to not read the children's journals, just look to see if the pages are filled in for their grade. However, she is forced to break her promise to her students when a high school senior is found dead, and the murder weapon is linked to Mrs. Child's creative writing class. The students feel betrayed that their journals will be read by the police as well as their beloved and trusted teacher. Mrs. Childs learns secrets about her students that she wishes she never knew, but the journals also help her to come to know and lover her students that much more.
I really enjoyed this novel. The author does an excellent job with character voice and I was eager to find out who the murderer was. It has a simple and sweet writing style which you come to expect from Mormon fiction. There are a few references to the LDS religion, but it is not over-powering and is used to add to the character of Mrs. Childs, and fortunately, does not distract from the plot line. I wouldn't classify this book as a thriller, as most murder-mystery books tend to be, but it was still very good and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a light, fun mystery.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
So what is it about? Well, this is a script for a play. It takes place right where the last movie ends, on Platform 9 3/4 on Albus Sirius Potter's first day of school. When Albus sits by Scorpius Malfoy on the Hogwarts Express, an instant friendship strikes up. Rose, Albus's cousin, is apprehensive of Scorpius, fretting that the mysterious rumors of his origin might be true. To Albus's dismay, and Scorpius's delight, both boys are sorted into Slytherin. Albus fears what people will think of Harry Potter's Slytherin son, but worse, he is worried about what his father thinks of him. Harry and Albus always seem to butt heads and this may just drive the father and son apart for good. When Albus convinces Scorpius to right a wrong made by his father a long time ago, the results are astronomical and lead the two boys on quite the adventure!
I couldn't put this book down. It kept me up way too late at night, but was oh so worth the caffeinated coma I was in the next day. To quote Ron, it was "bloody brilliant!" Now if only I was rich and could jump on a plane to London to see the play... what are the chances it will come to Utah do you think?? Better yet, how about turning THIS into a movie eh?
Saturday, July 30, 2016
I am not going to lie to you- this was the most confusing book I have ever read. I am not exactly sure why I stuck with it and read it until the end. I guess I was hoping for a magical moment where the author tied everything in and gave me that "ah-hah!" moment, which never came. There are chapters from the view points of Rosie, Nicole (the French mother), Nicoles mother, and the three children that Rosie looks after. I never could figure out what the underlying theme was. Rosie gets pregnant on purpose her senior year of high school simply because her sister wants a child so badly. When it comes time to hand her son over though, she doesn't want to, and ends up hating her sister for holding him first. And in the end she has an affair with the dad of the family she lives with. Nice. Nicole's mother has an affair with a German soldier and then gets pregnant with Nicole... who is Nicole's father? It never says. Then Nicole's mother kills herself and that's what leads to events leading up to Nicole moving to Paris with her aunt. As for the three childre, we read a chapter on the oldest daughter the night she loses her virginity, the youngest son wants to be priest, and the middle daughter's chapter made no sense whatsoever and didn't add to the story line in the slightest. This book was all over the place and so full of the weirdest, most inappropriate situations that do not need to be put down in the written word.
When I finished the last word in the last chapter of the book, the only thing I thought was, "How in the hell did this book ever get published?!" Don't read this book. Seriously. It sucks.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
I wasn't expecting this book to be what it was. I thought maybe it was going to be a cute little love story, somewhat like Pride and Prejudice with a modern day feel to it. I was completely wrong. Do you ever end up loving a book because you also hate it? It's like when Dumblerdore died and I threw the book against the wall, but I actually loved it because it made me feel such deep emotions. This book was like that. It got me to feel very deep emotions. I have a love/hate relationship with it. It was hard to read at the end, and not just because I could barely see through my big fat ugly tears. Sometimes it is kind of nice to get out of my Mormon, conservative, little Utah world and see the viewpoints of others. Although I 100% disagreed with the choices of the main characters, it is one of those books that opened my small little mind to other religions, politics, and people. I think we need more of that in this world. We may not agree. We may not even understand. But we can respect other people's decisions and treat them kindly despite our differences. Don't let me tell you how to feel about this book though. Read it and find out for yourself.
And yes, I still want to see the movie.
Friday, July 8, 2016
I would highly recommend this book. As a mother, it was very hard for me to take sides in this kind of situation. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Mistakes were made and people are human with human emotions. Half way through the book I just could not figure out how it was all going to end, is a happy ending even possible? You'll just have to find out for yourself. As for me, I can't wait to see the movie. I am bringing a box of tissues.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
These are my thoughts on the book: It is a very simple, cute story with a small town feel to it. It was an enjoyable read. However, there are other books in this series, and I am not really compelled to read the rest of them. First of all, I like the note that it ended on. I feel closure with all of the characters, and I am not necessarily thirsty for more. Secondly, it is definitely not great literature. As I was reading this novel I could picture in my mind the author writing it at her computer, with a sticky note pasted to her monitor that read "Sex Sells!"I imagine that every so often she would look up, read the note, and then add some sexual reference that didn't really fit the context of her novel. Each one was like a thorn in a rosebush. These sexual plug-ins simply did not need to be there. I am not against sex in a novel per-say, but these were so wildly out of place I felt like the language of the book all of a sudden switched from English to Chinese. You are either writing an erotica novel or a cute romance, you can't have it both ways. My next issue with this book were the authors sporadic time frames. In one paragraph you were living in a moment in exact time and in the next paragraph you jumped ahead a few weeks and were covering time fast paced. There was not a clear break between the two types of paragraphs and I felt it baffling. The other problem with this kind of sporadic timeline writing, was that she left conversations between characters unfinished and moments unresolved. The last thing that irritated me about this novel was how overly dramatic the protagonist could be. One minute she is a completely normal person and the next you are reading her thoughts thinking it's time for a straight jacket. I suppose all of us have "crazy" thoughts every now and again, but this was a little too over the top for me.
I must mention that one thing I think the author did really, really well was write the language through her dialogue. As I was reading the words I was actually speaking them in a southern accent in my head. Each character had a well developed language, and each was unique to it's character. I admired this quality very highly and was impressed very much with her talent.
I don't necessarily know that I would recommend this book, maybe just watch the movie and then decide for yourself. (Yes, there is a movie. I haven't watched it myself, but it looks pretty good, so who knows? It might be worth looking into.)
Sunday, May 22, 2016
After a family tragedy has left Jacob believing that he has gone crazy, his psychiatrist urges him to go to a remote island where his grandfather once lived, in hopes that it will help him gain some perspective and closure. On the island Jacob delves into his families history, trying to discover the truth about his grandfather for himself. His grandfather was a Jew during WWII, the only survivor in his family, when he fled the Nazi's. Are the Nazi's the "monsters" which haunted his beloved grandfather, or is there something more sinister lurking beneath the wild stories that his grandfather used to spin? Jacob travels to the orphanage where his grandfather lived as a war refugee, hoping to find something to give him some peace of mind, but what he ends up discovering, is nothing like he ever expected!
This book combines literature with photography in such an intriguing way. This story had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I completely devoured this novel and can not wait to read the next one. It is a thrilling, chilling, magical mystery! It is soon going to be released into a movie, and I can't quite decide if I am brave enough to see it or not haha. I don't normally like scary movies, but this one might be worth it! (I'll just have to bring along the hubby to hold my hand!)
If you like suspense, mystery, history, fantasy, romance-- this book pretty much has it all! It really is such a good read and literally left my skin tingling!