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Monday, April 13, 2009

Rash of Reviews

Okay, so I read a book a while ago, and started a little post about it. But I didn't get time to finish the post before I read another book. So I started a little post about that book. But I didn't get time to finish the post before I read another book. So I . . . you get the picture. And now all of these little posts have become like little itchy bumps on my arm! And I just have to scratch them before I can do anything else!

So. A rash of reviews:

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson. Oh, I do want to own this book. The minute I finished it I knew I wanted it in my collection. It is a delicious romance that is hilarious and poignant. I found it much more comparable to Twilight than books advertised with the phrase "If you liked Twilight..." See, I'm a sucker more for the clean romance than the vampires. Now, the romance goes more from Twilight through to Breaking Dawn all in the course of one book. So... there is no actual bodice ripping per se, but married me likes it better than single me would have. And, okay, this book is so funny! It's got little wordplays and comic disasters and oh, it is so much fun. My mother will love it. I made Aislin read it. Any thoughts, dear?

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It is so controversial. Either you love it or you hate it. There is so much swearing! Just like everyone says there is. And there is some other pretty distasteful stuff too. But I really wanted to read it and form my own opinion of it. The verdict: lukewarm. I guess I'm one of the few fence-sitters. Holden has a very authentic voice. I saw so much of him in so many different people I know. It is hard to believe he is a fictional character. And hard to believe the people he describes are fictional as well. And hey, the events seem really real, too. Now, I'm glad that my life has very few similarities to Holden's. But it was very interesting to look into his life. And also very interesting, afterward, to watch the commentary about the book by (my favorite youtubing author) John Green. Part 1. Part 2.

Skellig by David Almond. I think David Almond has a thing for birds. He wrote one of my all time favorite books of this last year: My Dad's a Birdman. This one, Skellig, came first, though and categorized as YA fiction. In fact it won the Printz award (like the Newbery for YA). And it was really good, so I can see why. It's pretty poetical and symbolic, yet totally literal enough that you'd get a lot of good stuff (including a pretty gripping story) out of it even if you didn't care about what all those birds flying around mean. I learned a bit more about Arthur Itis in this book than I would've guessed. Umm... what else? It was really good. Okay next scab...
The Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. Totally cute. And original. Yet very comfortable. This is a retelling of the 12 dancing princesses. Which is pretty cool, since I'm not super familiar with the tale, so I was able to be surprised a bit along the way. And our hero! Oh! He is so sweet. And talented. There are two types of talented heroes: the type that can inexplicably do everything really well (read: Edward, Rom, etc.) and those that have some really awesome skills that they use to get the job done. Like the totally awesome knitting-gardening-soldier who is our hero.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. The name says it all. It's a book about the secret wildlife preserve for fabled creatures. Creatures that Kendra and Seth didn't even know existed until they went to visit their grandparents. This is a fun adventure. And I've heard the next books in the series just get better and better. Which I'm okay with, because I was sort of wanting to kick some of the people in this one sometimes. It all turned out for the best, though. And, hey! They're making it into a movie eventually.

6 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed A Company of Swans too. I actually liked it better than A Countess Below Stairs, whereas most people like the second one better. It was so good and delicious and just like you said, hilarious! :)

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  2. I've read A Countess Below Stairs but not Swans. I'll have to check it out. As for Catcher in the Rye ... biggest waste of my high school time. But that's just my opinion. :) Why is it that some books get famous? Had no one bothered to write a book with no plot, a repellent main character, and nonsensical metaphors before? Is that why Catcher got famous? Good grief. Again, my opinion ... :)

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  3. Haha, like I said. Many people hate the book.

    And if more people like a Countess Below Stairs, maybe I'll have to read it! I mean, it's gonna have to be really good to be better than a Company of Swans, but...we'll see. I've heard that Eva Ibbotson has written, like, a ton of stuff.

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  4. Re: Fablehaven -- Seth's refusal to do what he should over what he wants reminds me a lot of JMS. Gotta love the kid :-)
    Mom

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  5. Skellig was interesting and fun but really wierd at the same time. I guess its a JMS book.
    I couldn't get a hold of "Swans" but I read "Island of the Aunts" which I thought was fun and imaginative, if a little shallow in the plot.
    Thanks for the recommendations.

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  6. As I recall...I never got more than halfway through Catcher in the Rye. Had to read it in high school. Hated it. Still passed the test on it somehow though.

    Fablehaven: I have to admit I enjoyed reading it. Who can help loving to hear about a mystical fairy world? It was frustrating at times, knowing he shouldn't disobey but invariably would, but I guess that's what you get for reading kids' books.

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