Friday, August 5, 2011
There will probably be times when I recommend an author--forget about recommending the books. They're all good.
At least all of the ones I've read of Cabot's!
BUT, the reason why I thought of posting about Meg Cabot tonight is because I just watched a Disney-made-for-television-movie titled Avalon High.
Anyone ever hear of Avalon High before? For all of you uneducated masses or those of you who just hate the story, Avalon is a pretty important place in relationship to King Arthur. How many of you just love the tragic story of King Arthur?
Not me. Hated it. Such a sordid end to such hopeful beginning. It depresses me. Always has. My feelings about the Arthurian tales were consolidated when I read a series by Mary Stewart, probably when I was just a touch too young (sorry Mary Stewart I love so many of your books!!), and that was the end for me.
Not dear Mary's fault. I just hate tragic endings. And again. I might have been a bit young when I read the series. I'm not even sure if I finished the three books. I remember crying a lot!
So I had my doubts when I picked up the book Avalon High, by Meg Cabot. I was intrigued by the idea though--because it gives King Arthur's legend the ENDING it deserves, the ending it ALWAYS deserved.
I'm not going to go into details--but if you have always loved the tale, Meg Cabot's book, Avalon High, will not disappoint you. And if you've always regretted the tale, like me, because of what happens, well you gotta read it. Go check it out. I've always hoped for a series out of this book, but it can completely stand alone. My quick review: 5/5 stars.
So tonight, as I was thumbing through Netflix, I stumbled upon a movie called Avalon High. Could it be? Was it indeed a movie based on Meg Cabot's book? I was thrilled and so excited to see what they might have done with it. I did expect it to be different, because I know that's how it works. But imagine my delight, when I could deal with all of the changes!
All up to the end. Sometimes, some twists just don't work. But the reason this twist didn't work is because I needed two things and I think it could have been great, the twist could have worked.
First of all I needed more development of the romance along the way, just a touch more intensity. But I could deal with that. The other thing I absolutely needed? A stronger resolution, a tie in to the reason the twist was there. A tie to bind the old with the new. And I didn't get that tie. Sometimes, you guys, a twist should not be there, just for the sake of a twist. Just for the sake of doing something different from the book.
And if you're going to put the twist in, you gotta make sure you leave your reader/or viewer satisfied. Don't you want me to be happy at the end? Smiling for the rest of the night? Unless you want me crying, but that's a whole other story.
I have to admit though. I did like the picture. And according to Meg Cabot--she loved the movie too. So who am I to cavil?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Title: I'd Tell you I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Ghallager Girls #1)
Author: Ally Carter
James Bond--meet your teenage sister, and she is SO MUCH COOLER!
Spies may have exotic lives traveling the world, but they also have to learn the hard stuff, such as writing a Covert Operations Report, which is how this book is born.
Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women isn't all that it appears to be. Not just anyone can get into this school--it doesn't matter how much money your parents have. Nope. You have to be spy material. That means super smart. Also, you need to know languages--lots of them. And that's just the beginning. History takes on a whole new meaning when it revolves around discovering political secrets.
Cammie knows all there is to know about the school and her mother, or so she thinks. But this school year things start out differently and a new (admittedly gorgeous) teacher knows something about her missing father. She also realizes that she may know fourteen different languages, but love is an entirely different matter.
Sound like a fun ride? It absolutely is!
Quick Review: 5/5
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Available on Kindle and Nook: 6.99
Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies.
Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, or track him through town with the skill of a real “pavement artist”—but can she maneuver a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about her?
Cammie Morgan may be an elite spy-in-training, but in her sophomore year, she’s on her most dangerous mission—falling in love.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Title: City of Bones, Book One (of three) in The Mortal Instruments
Author: Cassandra Clare
So I've heard a lot of complaints about this book. From people I know and online and I just don't get it. It's a fun read. It's an interesting concept. People complain about how this book is too much like other books and they got so bored yadda yadda yadda.
Give me a break, people!
Show me a story idea that I can't already find in hundreds of other books and I'll get you some cheese from the moon. Get over yourselves!
As far as I was concerned, the book is a fun ride. I like the characters, I like the action, I like the dialogue and yes! I even like the descriptions and the similes (not all of them, but most of them worked in a creative way that appealed to me).
For me the characters progressed well. When there were contradictions or what seemed to be a bit of dramatics on the parts of the characters--well, they are teenagers. And teenagers are dramatic people, hence I think kids who read these books will totally get that. It might bother some adults.
The pacing moved well, but just a word of warning: I grew up on books like Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Dude, you can't get slower books than those if you tried, and yet I LOVE THEM! So I might not be the best person to talk about whether or not people can get into this book. I did, from page one.
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 496
Publisher: McElderry Books and Simon and Schuster
Copyright: March 2007
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....
Friday, July 29, 2011
Author: Ilona Andrews
I'm a sucker for strong female characters and Kate never disappoints. For lovers of fantasy, this won't disappoint, but if you like mysteries and romance jump in too! The story takes place in Atlanta, but the entire world has had to deal with the fall of technology. Magic and tech swing, like a pendulum. With the advent of the human race, magic receded until technology became too prevalent. Magic returned to the world--with a vengeance.
Now we live in a place when the tech swings to magic your sweet, little grandmother can turn into a banshee. If you report the occurrence to the wrong people; she might just be deemed a threat and killed. This is the world that Kate exists in and balancing her beliefs against those in the world around her, in addition to fighting the instinct to stay hidden, something she's been taught her entire life . . . well Kate has a lot to learn.
I loved this book because of Kate, but also the world is rich and detailed, without bogging you down in so many details you want to go do something else. Derek, a lovable teenage shapeshifter becomes Kate's sidekick, despite her best efforts to work alone and Curran, the Beast Lord, master of all shapeshifters in Atlanta, has Kate bristling and ready to fight him at any moment. Not the greatest political move.
And somewhere, in the middle of this mess someone killed her guardian. If Kate doesn't figure it out fast, all hell will break loose between the shape-shifters and the vampires that may just start a deadly war.
All in all, a great ride that completely satisfies, but leaves you wanting more of Kate and her world.
Quick Review: 4 out of 5 stars (the only reason I didn't give five is because I've read the sequels and they just keep getting better and better! I'll be reviewing those soon.)
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.
In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…