my shelf this monday (30/4/2012)

Monday, 30 April 2012

There are a few new books on my shelf this monday that I bought/received/ borrowed from the library.

I bought The cardturner by Louis Sachar

I received Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb as a belated Christmas present from a lovely friend.

I borrowed a few more books from the library.
school library: 
the restaurant at the end of the universe by douglas adams

public library:
looking for jj by anne cassidy
the wide window and the miserable mill by lemony snicket

So what are you reading this week?

le book review number forty~ wild orchid

Sunday, 29 April 2012

title: wild orchid
author: beverley brenna
series: standalone
pages: 156
personal star rating: 4.5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Taylor Jane Simon is 18 years old and spending the summer with her mother in Prince Albert National Park. The holiday has been planned so Taylor's mother can spend time with her latest boyfriend, Danny, and work in the pizza restaurant that he runs. Taylor would just as soon stay at home, but because she suffers from an autistic condition, she can't stay on her own. Taylor's mother encourages her to explore the park's possibilities on her own. For Taylor, whose life experience has been  limited by her condition, this means facing the test of meeting new people and making new friends, a test she has never faced alone. Summer also holds the possibility of finding her own boyfriend, thought Taylor isn't quite sure how that might happen. The one thing that is certain is that by the end of the summer, Taylor will have to find the courage to be her own person and make her own path in life.

first sentence:
"I can hear her banging around in the kitchen."

I found the cover to be a big draw towards the book. I've had it on my list and then saw it reviewed by Sidny at Books, My Quiet Friends and the cover looked so intriguing and beautiful. I love the flowers and the close up of the girl. The font was very fitting and it's placement was perfect. The purple scheme with the sky blue behind is impacting and relates well to the title. The orchids by the girl's head adds an almost frame that enhances everything. Overall, the cover definitely made me want to read it a lot more.

What can I say about this book? I thought it was well worth the time. Although it was a quick read, it was a really good read. I found the main character, Taylor, easy to relate to. I think her personality and her compulsions are things that I could understand. Her description was amazing. I loved the scenery of the novel and the journey that she takes. I didn't learn a lot about the other characters because she didn't know a lot about the other characters - aside from her mother that is. The Canadian setting was a very lovely setting because I haven't read a lot of Canadian books. I would have liked to learn more about everything. I loved what I did learn but there was a lot about her life that she never explained. I think that it wasn't necessary but that it would have given more insight to her life. I can see the reason behind this, for it is a growing up story and based on Taylor's personality she wouldn't go into detail about things that didn't happen during the trip because that was her original purpose behind writing her journal. I found this book to be something I thoroughly took something from. I can't say with certainty if I would read it again but I would recommend it to everyone.

memorable moments number ten~ wild orchid


memorable moments:
wild orchid
by beverley brenna

page 7:
"I'm not behaving badly. In fact, I'm just sitting on my bed, and I have my door locked to prevent myself from being dragged out to the car. The problem is not the car. The problem is that I am not familiar with where we would be going. Also, I know that when people go away, it's possible that they don't come back.

page 10:
"The trouble with my mother is that she isn't very good at weighing decisions. She often just sees her side. It's a good thing she has me to help her with balance."

"I wonder why my mother is loading up the car when we aren't going anywhere. She is often illogical. I imagine she was just born that way."

page 11:
"My oral exam was on The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I had to do an oral exam because, on the written exam, the teacher asked us to think about the ending and draw our own conclusions. I drew stuff all over the page, and she said that wasn't what she had intended. She said that she had meant for us to write an essay to answer what might happen next. ...

Anyway, when we were talking about the novel, I said that Holden and I are exactly alike except for the following:
1. He is sixteen or seventeen, and I am eighteen and a half.
2. He has a red hunting cap.
3. He has had a relationship with a member of the opposite sex and I have not, although this is one of my aspirations.

She asked me in what ways I think we're alike, and I said that most of the time, like Holden, I'm mad and disgusted with people, which is true. I also said that he wasn't looking forward to much and that I'm the same way."

page 13:
"The drive to Waskesiu sucked. I don't like sitting still, and I especially don't like sitting still while perceiving that things around me are moving. I know that really I am moving, while everything else outside the car is stationary, but it feels like the other way around."

page 15:
"What made me mad in this situation is that I have this thing about names. It seems to me that a name really defines the person or thing it describes. Names are important. If I get called by something other than my actual name, such as someone, I start feeling light-headed and anonymous."

page 18:
"'I don't really care about new people,' I said. 'Because new people, if you are using that term correctly, would refer to babies. I would prefer a boyfriend my own age.'"

"Boy, that really was funny - seeing Mom's name on the place - funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha."

page 23:
"When you're out of the house, it's easy to check the time. Clocks, I have noticed, are everywhere. Inside, though, it's a different matter. Dad offered to buy me a watch, but I don't get along very well with watches. They always lose or gain time, I'm not sure why, and there's nothing worse than having a timepiece that isn't correct.

page 25:
"This is why words are very important. They are the bridges between people's thoughts."

page 28:
"For me, it's something new, to be followed by the future, which, so far, is just a black hole sucking me inward."

page 29:
"'So, Taylor, what are your plans for the future?' Danny asked in his typical, nine-word fashion.

'I find it disconcerting to be asked about plans I haven't got,' I said. 'Maybe I'll start a gerbil ranch.'"

"It makes me feel cross when people ask my opinion of things because I have to stop and think for a minute about perspectives. They do not know what I am thinking unless I tell them. This makes life complicated. It would be easier if everybody just felt the same way, and then you wouldn't need to talk about it."

page 31:
"I don't think that's right, to wait until your kids do well and then invite them to visit. I think you should be a parent whether the kids do well or not."

page 39:
"One time I asked my mother about techniques for finding a boyfriend, and she just laughed. She said, 'All in good time.' This is not a rational statement because time has no affect: it cannot be either good or bad. It just exists."
page 40:
"There are seven ways that forests and churches are alike:
1. They both have quiet sounds in them that do not demand much of you.
2. They have a lot of air in them, but it doesn't enter as wind.
3. People talk in softer voices inside forests as well as churches.
4. You feel as though you're in the shade.
5. Both the walls and the trees stretch up high on either side of you.
6. There is a minty smell.
7. Both forest and church have six letters.

page 42:
"Shauna taught me so many things. I like to think of her as a translator. Not that I don't speak English, but sometimes I feel that the English I speak is a different language from everyone else's English."

page 44:
"I hate school when I was young because I wasn't used to the routine. Deep down, I did want to go, but I wished intensely that the other kids weren't there."

page 55:
"It's stupid not to say what you mean."

page 85:
"When you are missing something you've left behind, it could be dead or lost so that you never find it again.You never really know, when you don't have something, what its condition is. That's why you grieve about it to the same degree - because you just don't know."

page 87:
"It's useless when people tell you not to worry, though - there's plenty to worry about in this world."

page 89:
"I wrote an essay about friendship once. I said it was the only kind of ship that could go in more than one direction at the same time. I copied that statement off the Internet. At the time, I didn't really understand what it meant. Now I think I do understand. The direction I'm going is that I want Shauna to be my friend. The direction she's going is just the opposite. Our friendship is pulling us apart."

page 116:

"I have not written for a while week. At first, I felt really bad when I forgot to write, but now, because nothing happened to me for not writing, I think it's okay. It's okay if you make a plan to write every day and then you only do it some of the time. A person has to be satisfied if that's the best you can do."

page 118:
"'I'm staying in with you tonight, okay?' she asked. She was gulping a bit like she does when she's been crying, and I saw that parts of her face were wet.

'Do you want to change your clothes?' I asked. 'Or write something in a journal?' She shook her head. 'How about if I get you some food? I know you like food,' I went on. She shook her head again, and then she laughed a little. I'm not sure what she was laughing at, but I'm glad I cheered her up."

page 120:
"... and the breeze felt confusing because it was hot from the sun and cold from blowing across the water."
page 148:
"Then he laughed, but that's okay because I laughed too."
page 153:
"Four friends are better than none."

page 155:
"I like looking at this picture. I like thinking of how it feels to be in the forest. I can remember the minty smell of the woods, the cathedral ceiling."

page 156:
"If I count my friends on my fingers - Rose, Julie, Paul and Shauna - it makes four. Mom makes five, and even though sometimes she's a pathological liar, she can also be a friend. I'll also count my dad. He is sort of borderline, but it's possible that Thanksgiving will work out. That makes six. Six friends. One day soon, I'm going to get a new gerbil. That will make seven. And seven is a lucky number."

feature friday: bookcases (1)

Friday, 27 April 2012

This idea is inspired by Nicole at WORD for teens. I love seeing what bookcases she features so please go check it out.

I love this bookcase because it's built right into the wall. I think the basic white works really well with the rest of the decor, except I'd be afraid to sit in the chairs. I wouldn't want to stain them so I'd probably just sit on the floor avoiding any contact with the fabric.

le book review number thirty-nine~ the reptile room

Thursday, 26 April 2012

title: the reptile room
series: the series of unfortunate events book 2/12
author: lemony snicket
pages: 190
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Dear Reader,
If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I'm afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don't be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.
In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the reappearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again. 
I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.
Lemony Snicket

first line:
"The stretch of road that leads out of the city, past Hazy Harbor and into the town of Tedia, is perhaps the most unpleasant in the world."

I  found this book to be so amazing. The writing style is perhaps what is a huge draw for me. The vocabulary and the characters are so well written. I feel that the story is like nothing else and the plot and theme for the book fits everything so well.

My favourite part was the Incredibly Deadly Viper. I also like how the conclusion ties things together splendidly and in a way that makes you think, well i didn't exactly see it happening this way but you can't see it happening any other way.

le book review number thirty-eight~ the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

title: the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy
book in series: 1/5
author: douglas adams
pages: 180 (in the edition that i borrowed from the library)
personal star rating: 4.99/5 stars

so close to five stars. why does it lose .01 of a star? it didn't exceed expectation. It lived up to it, but there was just a little bit of room that i could see a little more of something.

from the back cover:
On Thursday lunchtime the Earth gets unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the Galaxy is a very strange and startling place.

first sentence:
"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun."

I liked reading it. I liked reading it a lot. You could even say I loved reading it. But there was something about it that seems i never completely got involved with it. I was not absorbed so much in the story and plot that it seemed that i just missed something. The writing style is remarkable and i fully intend on reading the rest of the series and quite possibly reading this book again. I like the idea of this story and the portrayal was very unique and amazing.

My favourite part was Marvin. His pessimism and depressive personality have a dry humour undertone. There is a lot of comic relief that is welcome and he's just perfect.

Overall, this was a really, really good book.

my shelf this monday (23/4/12)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday has rolled around again.

It seems I've had so much homework last week that I didn't do much else. I was completely overwhelmed by school that i only managed about 75 pages from the book of quotes and half of the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.

I plan on finishing tHGthG this week and hopefully killer by sara shepard. I might make progress through the 12,000 inspirational quotes too because it's easy to read a few of those instead of getting into a novel when i have a few extra minutes.

Anyway, this was a short post. Let me know what your reading plans are this week.

my shelf this monday

Monday, 16 April 2012

It's Monday!

And it seems I accomplished reading only children's books. But I have been progressing through the quote book. So hopefully I'll manage to get something read this week.

Books I plan on finishing this week:
Poirot's early cases by Agatha Christie
The Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams
12,000 inspirational quotations

Books I plan on starting and hopefully finishing:
Killer by Sara Shepard

I still have a plethora of books in my TBR pile and it seems i just keep adding more.

So feel free to leave a comment telling me about the books you plan on reading this week and tell me if you've read any books from my list. Or maybe if you're planning on reading them too.

good luck, best wishes, stay gold, don't die.

le book review number thirty-seven~ the missing piece meets the Big O

Sunday, 15 April 2012

title: the missing piece meets the big O
author: shel silverstein
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the inside cover:
The missing piece sat alone
waiting for someone
to come along
and take it somewhere . . .

The different ones it encounters - and what it discovers in its helplessness - are portrayed with simplicity and compassion in the words and drawings of Shel Silverstein.

A companion book to The Missing Piece, Shel Silverstein has captured so much in so little. A story that will touch anyone, this book is full of so much. I absolutely loved reading this book and I can honestly say I believe that this will leave you with a tear in your eye and a swell in your heart. This was beautifully written and told with such a pure voice and you won't be able to help falling in love.

le book review number thirty-six~ the missing piece

title: the missing piece
author: shel silverstein
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the inside cover:
It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it sang this song - 
 Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece
 I'm lookin' for my missin' piece
 Hi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin' for my missin' piece.

What it finds on its search for the missing piece is simply and touchingly told in this fable that gently probes the nature of quest and fulfillment.

They say less is more and nothing could be more true in terms of this book. Brilliantly written, Shel Silverstein captures the true essence of a quest. Illustrated with simple drawings and black and white colour, this book is astoundingly full of impact. I think this is a must-read for anyone of any age. The meaning of the story will make you think and it will leave something with you.

le book review number thirty-five~ you see a circus. i see . . .

title: you see a circus. I see. . .
author: Mike Downs
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

This book shows another side to circus performers. A children's book that shows that first impressions, and stereotypes aren't always what they seem. I loved the softness of the pictures and the way it rhymed. I think this book is a wonderful read for anybody.

This book tells the story of a circus family and what it means to the boy who's part of it. It's definitely worth the read.

le book review number thirty-four~ horton hatches the egg

title: horton hatches the egg
author: Dr. Seuss
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

When Mayzie the bird decides she needs a vacation from sitting on her egg, Horton passes by and she asks him to stay on her nest so she can take a break. Horton says this:
"You want a vacation. Go fly off and take it.
I'll sit on your egg and I'll try not to break it.
I'll stay and be faithful. I mean what I say."
"Toodle-oo!" sand out Mayzie and fluttered away.

Horton sat and sat and then he has the adventure that he would never expect. He stays with the egg through all types of weather.
He says to himself,
"I meant what I said
And I said what I meant . . .
An elephant's faithful
One hundred per cent!"

Although he was laughed at he refused to break his promise. This says a lot about Horton's loyalty. I adored reading this book and think it's a great follow up about Horton.

le book review number thirty-three~ horton hears a who

title: horton hears a who
author: Dr. Seuss
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

Horton the elephant is a large animal with an even bigger heart. He believes that everyone is someone despite their size. I find this to be very cute and fun and shows that everyone is somebody.

Even though nobody can see the Whos on the little speck of dust, Horton heard them and made it his mission to keep them from harm.

But with a kangaroo who at first refuses to believe, Horton has to come to their rescue on more than one occasion. And Horton proves that sometimes you just have to listen really hard to hear what's right in front of you.

memorable moments from this book are:

"I'll just have to save him. Because, after all,
A person's a person, no matter how small."

"I've got to protect them. I'm bigger than they."

"While Horton chased after, with groans, over stones
That tattered his toenails and battered his bones,
And begged, 'Please don't harm all my little folks, who
Have as much right to live as us bigger folks do!'"

"'Of course.' Horton answered. 'Of course I will stick.
I'll stick by you small folks through thin and through thick!'"

le book review number thirty-two~ if i ran the circus

title: if i ran the circus
author: Dr. Seuss
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

Morris McGurk has a dream to open a circus behind Sneelock's store. His ideas are remarkably imaginative and the recurrence of Sneelock helping him was humorous and also incorporated wonderfully.

I definitely think the artwork inside was an important factor in the entire book. The way the illustrations bring each event and creature to life is admirable. I thought it was funny and cute.

Morris's big idea is described with great detail. I admire the creativity.

le book review number thirty-one~ if i ran the zoo

title: if i ran the zoo
author: Dr. Seuss
personal star rating: 3.5/5 stars

I really wanted to give it a full 4 stars. There was one particular racial stereotype that made it lose that half a star. I understand that it was published in 1950, and since then we have become more sensitive towards this any type of racial difference. I think it was still a wonderful read but gave me pause to think about how far we've come with books nowadays that are directed at children and how they are all about including each type of person. I find that the equality is a wonderful thing. But I also love Dr. Seuss and that's why I still gave it 3.5 stars.

It's wonderfully imaginative and the creatures that Gerald McGrew creates are intriguing and unique. I definitely have much respect for the pictures, it gives such detail to the animals that Gerald wants for his zoo. I think the NERD was my favourite part. It made me smile and laugh.

le book review number thirty~ the lorax

title: the lorax
author: Dr. Seuss
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

I was at the library on Saturday afternoon and was looking for books for a school assignment. It involved analyzing a children's book. I ended up taking out several books just for fun. So here we go.

I adored reading this book. I watched the movie when it came out and reading this book was just amazing. I think everyone should pick up this book and enjoy sitting around reading it for a few minutes. It's nice to just read it aloud for the fun of it.

It's a touching story about saving the trees. It's a must read for anyone, and anyone can enjoy it.

A few wonderful, amazing, and memorable moments are as follows:

"I laughed at the Lorax, 'You poor stupid guy!
You never can tell what some people will buy.'"

"I, the Once-ler, felt sad
as I watched them all go.
business is business!
And business must grow..."

"I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got."

"And all that the Lorax left here in the mess
was a small pile of rocks, with one word . . .

"'But now,' says the Once-ler,
'Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not."

My shelf this Monday

Monday, 9 April 2012

It's Monday. And this week I have a ton of books in a nice TBR pile. And I thought I'd share the books.

From the public library:
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (a re-read)
This side of paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Poirot's Early Cases by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple: complete short stories

Currently Reading:
12,000 inspirational quotations
the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams

from the school library:
killer by sara shepard

books on my shelf (this weeks challenge if i find time):
the boy in the striped pajamas

realistically speaking i plan on by next sunday to have read:
the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
killer by sara shepard
poirot's early cases by agatha christie
and hopefully finish up the quotations by next sunday.

So feel free to leave a comment telling me about the books you plan on reading this week and tell me if you've read any books from my list. Or maybe if you're planning on reading them too.

good luck, best wishes, stay gold, don't die.

le book review number twenty-nine~ tuesdays with morrie

Sunday, 8 April 2012

title: tuesdays with morrie
author: mitch albom
number of pages: 199 pages (including the afterword)
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the inside cover:
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwarz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom from your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.

first sentence:
"The last class of my old professor's life took place once a week in his house, by a window in the study where he could watch a small hibiscus plant shed its pink leaves."

Everyone has a person who have shared part of their lives with you. Mitch Albom has a beautiful way of portraying emotion while telling a story. Tuesdays with Morrie is filled with insight, wisdom and overall messages on the true important parts about life. I purchased this book the same time I bought two other Mitch Albom books. As an author he is exceptional. I found myself reading this book and feeling so much. Morrie had a positive outlook and that even though he couldn't be happy all they time, he made the most out of his situation. He made a decision that so many people don't consider- Morrie decided to live. I have to comment on Mitch Albom's writing style. It is very unique and splendid. I adore being able to read something that is so honest and pure. There is so much to be learned from this book. I find that we learn a lot through Morrie about our own lives. Although the book isn't the first novel you'd expect a teenager to want to read, I highly recommend it. It has life lessons that people of any age can learn and appreciate.

memorable moments number nine~ tuesdays with morrie

memorable moments:
tuesdays with morrie
by mitch albom
page: 4
"...when he smiles it's as if you'd just told him the first joke on earth."

page 12:
"He was intent on proving that the word 'dying' was not synonymous with 'useless.'

page 40:
"So which side wins, I ask?
'Which side wins?'
He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth.
'Love wins. Love always wins.'

page 51:
"'One day, I'm gonna show you it's okay to cry.'"

page 57:
"How useful it would be to put a daily limit on self-pity."

page 61:
"'You see,' he says to the girl, 'you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling.'"

page 63:
"And I suppose tapes, like photographs and videos, are a desperate attempt to steal something from death's suitcase."

page 65:
"We all need teachers in our lives."

page 79:
"'A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.'"
 - Henry Adams

page 80:
"'Let's being with this idea,' Morrie said. 'Everyone knows they're going to die, but nobody believes it.'"

page 82:
"'The truth is, Mitch,' he said, 'once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.'"

page 157:
"'In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right?'
His voice dropped to a whisper. 'But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well."

page 164:
"'Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others.'"

page 170:
"'Tell you what. After I'm dead, you talk. And I'll listen.'"

page 174:
"'Death ends a life, not a relationship.'"

page 178:
"'In business, people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want. Maybe you're too used to that. Love is different. Love is when you are as concerned about someone else's situation as you are about your own.'"

le book review number twenty-eight~ wicked

Saturday, 7 April 2012

title: wicked
author: sara shepard
series: pretty little liars - book 5
number of pages: 310
personal star rating: 3/5 stars

from the back cover:
In Idyllic Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four very pretty girls just can't help but be bad. . . .
Hanna will stop at nothing to be Rosewood's queen bee. Spencer's digging up her family's secrets. Emily can't stop thinking about her new boyfriend. And Aria approves a little too strongly of her mom's taste in men.
Now that Ali's killer is fainlly behind bars, the girls think they're safe. But those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. And they should know by now that I'm always watching . . . .

first sentence:
"Wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what people are thinking?"

After the death of Mona they all thought that was the end of A. And with Ian arrested, everything would be coming up roses, right? Wrong. This book, although not as well written in my opinion still had the drama and new introductions. I was surprised in many places and found the end to be completely shocking. I notice a lot of changes from the show and I like that there are different directions. I think that the writing isn't too difficult to understand and it's a pretty quick read but it's a nice book to sit down on a snowy saturday (which i did today).

le book review number twenty-seven~ the girl who kicked the hornet's nest

title: the girl who kicked the hornet's nest
author: stieg larsson
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

from the back cover:
Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition in the intensive care unit of a Swedish hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will have to prove her innocence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

first sentence:
"Dr. Jonasson was woken by a nurse five minutes before the helicopter was expected to land."

In the final installment in the Millennium trilogy, we get the conclusion of the Salander story. I found this to be the book i didn't like as much as the other two. It was still remarkably mysterious but I found it didn't have as much impact as the first and definitely not as much as the second. I found that the loose ends tied up in an unexpected way. However, I was not disappointed for a minute. There were a lot of interesting plot twists and turns and I was constantly surprised. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot.

le book review number twenty-six~ the bad beginning

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

title: the bad beginning
author: Lemony Snicket
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Dear Reader,
I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing. 

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

first sentence:
"If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book."

This book, although directed at a younger audience, is still a wonderful read. I had read this book previously but I have never made my way through the entirety of the series. I found it to be even better than I had remembered. The characters are distinct and the writing style is so descriptive. I love the whole subject of unhappiness in a story - it gives a new aspect to what you read. I am definitely planning on reading the complete series this time around.

le book review number twenty-five~ the perks of being a wallflower

Sunday, 1 April 2012

title: the perks of being a wallflower
author: stephen chbosky
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
standing on the fringes of life... offers a unique persepctive. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky's haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical aclaim, prokoked discussion and debate, and grown into a cult sensation with over one million copies in print.

It is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We many not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course throuugh uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Pucture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. 

Through Charlie, Chbosky has created a deeply affecting novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

first sentence:
August 25, 1991

Dear friend,
I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.

In this novel Charlie's letters are moving, and offer ideas and interpretations of numerous aspects of growing up. His emotional journey conveys the message of what growing up is really like. Charlie is always honest and heart-felt and believes in what he says. It expresses deep love and what it's like to be different. With family secrets and the discovery of learning to accept and remember the past Charlie leaves us with a beautiful message. I loved reading this book and am so glad I bought it. I can't believe it's taken me so long to pick it up because once i started i couldn't stop.

le book review number twenty-four~ a man without a country

title: a man without a country
author: kurt vonnegut
personal star rating: 3/5 stars

From the back cover:
In a volume that is penetrating, introspective, incisive, and laugh-out-loud funny, one of the great men of letters of this era - or any era - holds forth on life, art, sex, politics, and the state of America's soul. Whether he is describing his coming of age in America, his formative war experiences, or his life as an artist, this is Vonnegut doing what he does best: being himself. Whimsically illustrated by the author, A Man Without a Country is intimate, tender, and brimming with the scope of Kurt Vonnegut's passions.

first sentence:
"As a kid I was the youngest member of my family, and the youngest child in any family is always a jokemaker, because a joke is the only way he can enter into an adult conversation."

In Vonnegut's biographic novel he touches on numerous topics and expresses an opinion. I found it to be interesting and insightful but lacked an aspect of a real in-depth look into things. It was a simple read that didn't take more than an hour and a half to read but I did find it to be interesting. I bought it months ago and finally just decided to get down to it and read it. I thought it had a few humorous parts that had me laughing out loud. Maybe they weren't meant to be funny but I laughed nevertheless. I thought it was alright. Fans of Vonnegut can gain an insight into what he thinks.