le book review number seventy-four~ the complete tales & poems of winnie-the-pooh

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

title: The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
(Decorations by Ernest H. Shepard)
author: A.A. Milne
personal star rating: 5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Since their publication some seventy years ago, A.A. Milne's enchanting tales and playful verses have been treasured and adored by generations of children. When We Were Very Young, Milne's first book of poetry for children, appeared in 1924, followed in 1926 by Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of stories about a slightly rotund Bear of Very Little Brain. These delightful poems and tales - starring Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and the others- were an immediate success and firmly established Milne as a major author of children's books. Another volume of poetry, Now We are Six, was published in 1927. In 1928, a second collection of stories, The House at Pooh Corner, continued the adventures of the Hundred Acre Wood and introduced the lovable, bouncy Tigger.
This special volume brings together all of the Pooh stories and all of the poems in one full-color book. The texts are complete and unabridged and each of the original illustrations has been brilliantly recolored.

To begin, I realize this is a children's book. I also realize my personal star rating might be influenced slightly because I had read some of these stories when I was very young and they were really quite wonderful. I also found it on my sister's bookshelf and knew I had to borrow it. I was looking for something light to read and these are truly pleasing. I think these were worth reading and they were filled with beautiful illustrations. I think that this shows the true beginning of Winnie the Pooh for there are so many adaptations and comercialism that it's refreshing to strip it back to where it all started. When I was reading the book I could hear the narrator and the voices from the characters in the television shows and movies. Which I found comforting in a way of childhood memories. However, I can't help but wonder about the voices A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin they used when reading the stories. I think it would be really fun to read these stories aloud with someone you were close to. To sit with hot chocolate nestled in blankets. If I am to be honest and to review the entire book, I will have to comment on the poems as well. I find that when reading children's poems at my age (17) I think I try and find too much meaning and subtle things in them. I especially found that I was very critical. Also being an avid reader of poetry, I found myself looking for techniques and specific elements and such that I over-analyzed to a point where I didn't take it at face value of fun. Which if I read them again would most likely find them more enjoyable. The tales of Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Woods were very wonderful and if you skip the poetry, at least read the stories.

le book review number seventy-three~ looking for jj

Thursday, 7 February 2013

title: looking for jj
author: anne cassidy
series/standalone: standalone
personal star rating: 3.5/5 stars

from the back cover:
Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of the town  toward the Berwick Waters. Later that day only two of them came back.

Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago - though it's still hard for her to believe it's real. The images, the sounds and the aftermath are imprinted on her memory. Now she's trying to lead a normal life - she has a job, friends and a boyfriend whom she adores. She's making a go of things, putting her past behind her at last. But Alice's past is dangerous, and violent  and sad - and it's about to rip her new life apart.

first sentence:
"Everyone was looking for Jennifer Jones."

thoughts on the front cover:
The reason I chose this book was because of the cover. I found the paper people chain was intriguing and the fade of blue and font of the title was so perfect. It is one of the more unique covers i've seen and it definitely was the drawing factor.

Looking for jj has a great premise. I was really excited when i saw this in the library a long time ago. The cover picture stuck with me and the title was similar to one of my favourite books that I really thought I'd love this book. The idea for this book is original and captivating. It is unlike other books I've read but i do see similarities to other books i've heard about and plan on reading eventually. Although the idea was different, the main character did not seem real. I separate Jennifer from Alice, Jennifer being the "before" and Alice being the "after". At first, i really didn't like Alice. As we learn her story i began to understand her but overall, she doesn't show a lot of personality. I could picture Jennifer as a kid with her mom, but "Alice" felt like she never knew who she wanted to be. She wanted to be forgotten in the book, and she will be forgotten for me as well. Jennifer was much more memorable and the flashback story was the real captivation. The other characters were interesting enough, but there seemed a lack of relationship between characters. I think that as the book was told, it could have flowed a bit better. The memories seemed a bit discordant to how the events in "real time" were being exposed. At times they felt thrown in. I did enjoy this book but I don't think i'd care to read it again. I think I took away all that I will from this book. I'd recommend it for a bit of a thrill/ suspense/ excitement but there was a lot of sub-layers that didn't really work. Don't expect too much of this book but it is interesting and has a great premise.

le book review number seventy-two~ the end

Saturday, 2 February 2013

title: The End
author: Lemony Snicket
series: a series of unfortunate events #13
personal star rating: 4/5 stars

from the back cover:
Dear Reader,
You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of THE END. The end of THE END is the best place to begin THE END, because if you read THE END from the beginning of the beginning of THE END to the end of the end of THE END, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.
This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.
It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so THE END does not finish you.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

first sentence:
"If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that  you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable."

The End. Where do I begin with The End? This book was the final book in the series so I was a bit hesitant to dive right in. My reluctance stemmed from my fear of disappointment in this final book. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Fortunately, not extremely so. I was left slightly confused and I felt like it couldn't really be the end because there were so many unanswered questions. I suppose I felt that the end wasn't exactly finished in a "clean cut" sort of way. I do think the series was worth it overall and I do think that the books were interesting and unique enough for the purpose of enjoyment, but the "denouement" was not as final or complete as I would have really liked. Perhaps I missed something integral along the way, some obscure fact hidden in the earlier books that I would have to read the series again to understand. That will have to be determined at a later point because right now, I'm simply happy I read the series but I'm almost apathetic with the way it ended. It could have been better, it could have been worse.