Friday, April 29, 2011

The Princess Diaries Review


Title: The Princess Diaries
Author: Meg Cabot
Pages: 283
Release Date: October 28 2001
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Summary:
From Goodreads:
She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom…
News flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo always meets her at the airport!)
Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)
Shock of the century: Like it or not, Mia is prime princess material.
The worst part: Princess lessons from her dreaded grandmere, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.
Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty, no— way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is PRINCESS AMELIA MIGNONETTE GRIMALDI THERMOPOLIS RENALDO?

My review:

Did I like reading The Princess Diaries? Why yes, yes I did. I’ve enjoyed reading all of Cabot’s books. She captures the mind of a teenager girl perfectly. The Princess Diaries was a fun read. The book was written as a journal, and this made the events flow nicely. The story was addicting; sometimes I couldn’t stop reading.
Something that bothered me was that she used the words, “I mean” VERY often. It became very distracting after a while. Also, Mia (the main character) repeated everything that was going on in her life A LOT. I could understand her talking about her problems, but listing them all again and again was tiring. After reading for a while, I got used to it, but was relieved when new things came along. Other than that, the book was good.
It was funny that Mia didn’t hide any judgments. And why would she? She was writing in her private diary; she wrote her every thought in there. She wrote about her crush, school, her mom and dad, friends, and all about how she was to be the princess of Genovia. You would think that any teenage girl would LOVE to get to be a princess. Not Mia. That’s what was interesting about The Princess Diaries. It makes you think how you would handle that crazy situation.

This book made want to keep reading the series. I would say that they are for ages 12-16, and probably only girls would like these books. The Princess Diaries was certainly enjoyable. It made me laugh out loud.

Rating:


Monday, April 18, 2011

Something Like Fate Review


Title: Something Like Fate
Author: Susane Colasanti
Pages: 288
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Release Date: May 2010

Summary: Lani and Erin are lifelong best friends — and total opposites. Lani’s a down-to-earth Taurus; Erin’s a fiery Leo. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. They’ve always had wildly different tastes, from pizza toppings to guys. That is, until Erin starts dating Jason.

From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can’t deny the amazing connection she feels with him. It’s like they’ve known each other their whole lives. She’s not sure if he feels it too — but even if he does, he’s off-limits. Lani’s determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than hurt her best friend. Then Erin goes away for the summer — and Jason seems to appear everywhere Lani turns. How long can she keep running from the guy who just might be the love of her life? (source: Goodreads.com)

My Review:

This book is basically a typical YA novel. It was very well written for the audience intended. I loved reading this book; it was quite easy to relate to all of the love and fun that high school has, not to mention how it reminded me of my own summer love.

The development of the characters was really well done. The plot was a little hard to follow at times because it jumps around a bit. I feel like it was a little slow at parts. But all in all I think it was a fantastic book. Definitely one I would read again!

Rating:





Saturday, April 16, 2011

The List Review

Title: The List

Author: Melanie Jacobson
Pages: 289
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Summary:
Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college — the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals — from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi — she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the “leaving” part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down — or might set her free? (source: Goodreads.com)


My Reaction:

I loved this book! It is every girl’s prefect Friday night and ice cream book. It has a great plot that leaves you hanging and wanting to read more. There is romance in odd places and adventure in everything. Matt Gibson is the perfect prince; he's nice, smart, athletic and willing to help. Ashley Barrett is a spunky, accident prone and determined. Their lives collide in a very well planned out plan by Ashley. She knows what she wants and is very determined to get it since she knows wants to check off as much as she can of the list. It is an excellent book that you need to read.

Rating:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Fountainhead Review

Title: The Fountainhead
Author: Ayn Rand
Pages:706
Release Date: September 1st 1996
Genre: Objectivist fiction


Summary: Rand's hero is Howard Roark, a brilliant young architect who won't compromise his integrity, especially in the unconventional buildings he designs. Roark is engaged in ideological warfare with a society that despises him, an architectural community that doesn't understand him, and a woman who loves him but wants to destroy him. His struggle raises questions about society's attitude toward revolutionaries. The book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism (source: Goodreads.com).


My Reaction:

The Fountainhead is one of the most self-involving books I have ever read. As I was reading it, I was caught entirely off guard by the amount of time spent just thinking about the plethora of philosophies and ideas that Ayn Rand has so gracefully crammed into this exquisite work of art, more commonly referred to as a novel.

She had me entranced in the first couple paragraphs with her fastidious attention to all the smallest describing metaphors that make the book really come to life inside the reader's imagination, while still being an obvious product of her own creation. Miss Rand absolutely stays true to her own views in this book and gives the reader a round-about look into the mind of a political and philosophical genius through the contrasting values of her characters.


Though the main character in this novel is Howard Roark, the views and philosophies of all the other characters in the book are so well thought out that you really not only get to see yourself somewhere in the book, but you can often see what you would like to be.

As her main character and object of self made idol worship Howard Roark is a man of absolute and solid integrity; it doesn’t take long at all until you can see that this is the characteristic that the author values most, and it isn't much longer until you can see why. Despite being longer than most books (and at 704 pages it takes awhile to read), you’ll find that this book is rarely lacking in some sort of excitement. The only downside to this book is that it is certainly not for all ages, but aside from that, this book is a ten out of ten and something for all readers to look forward to and all authors to look up to.


Rating:



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cracker Review

Title: Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam
Author: Cynthia Kadohata
Pages: 308
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published Date: February 2007

Summary:A German shepperd trained to sniff out bombs, traps and the enemy. The fate of entire platoons rests on her keen sense of smell. She’s a big deal, and she likes it that way. Sometimes Cracker remembers when she was younger, and her previous owner would feed her hot dogs and let her sleep in his bed. That was nice too.

Rick Hanski is headed to Vietnam. There he’s going to whip the world and prove to his family and his sergeant--and anyone else who didn’t think he was cut out for war--wrong. But sometimes Rick can’t help but wonder that maybe everyone else is right. Maybe he should have just stayed at home and worked in his dad’s hardware store.

When Cracker is paired with Rick , she isn’t so sure about this new owner. He’s going to have to prove himself to her before she’s going to prove herself to him. They need to to be friends before they can be a team, and they have to be a team if they want to get home alive .

Told in part through the uncanny point of view of a German shepperd, Cracker! is an action packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a dog and her handler. Its an utterly unique powerhouse of a book by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira. (summary from back of book)

My Review:

“Grrr. For I am the all-powerful Cracker!” pg. 1) This book is bursting with energy and life! Excitement is portrayed through the Vietnam War and the characters’ pasts and personalities. It's hard to not get pulled into the tone and feeling of the book when Cracker is taken from her favorite owner Willie, a little boy of 12. And you can’t help but be proud of Rick for not wanting to work in his father’s warehouse and sticking up for himself. The description the writing gives really helps you feel exactly what the character is going through.

When Rick becomes a handler and is paired with Cracker, he is frustrated and confused. This makes it hard to bond with her, especially since she is bent on hating the world and the people in it for taking her away from Willie. Seeing both points of view, it’s easy to see how the relationship between Rick and Cracker changes. We quickly see it go from suspicion and frustration to loyalty and respect. Seeing both sides, we understand both characters, but the characters themselves don’t understand each other. Part of the entertainment provided by this book is the excitement of them learning to work together and survive in Vietnam.

Honestly, this is a very simple book. It’s easy reading and not hard to follow, but it definitely keeps your attention. I could read this book over and over again. It’s funny and sad, it’s clean and entertaining. I wish more books were like "Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam."

Rating:

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Review

Title: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author:
Douglas Adams
Pages:
180

Release Date: September 27th 1995
Genre: Comedy Science Fiction


Summary:
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.


Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel! (Summery from Goodreads)


My Review:


This is, hands down, the most hilarious piece of comedy I have ever read. Mr. Adams is the only individual I have ever read to ever successfully merge the genres of science fiction and comedy. Throughout his novel are plethoras of occasions where I was laughing uncontrollably at the absurdist and yet hilariously true stereotypes and satires of life in general. Every character (from Marvin the Paranoid Android to Zaphod Beeblebrox to Ford Prefect) is eloquently constructed and perfectly executed in the hilariously absurd universe of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Unfortunately, the movie made from this book was funny, but rather disappointing in comparison. I would include quotes from the book, but that would simply ruin it should you choose to read this fantastic work of comedic fiction (and you should). My only advice is: do not read this late at night, I guarantee you that your family will be rather cross with you when you wake them up with your laughter.

Rating: