Sunday, October 24, 2010

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

No spoilers.

War for the Oaks
Author: Emma Bull
Year of Publication: 1987
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 332
First Line: "By day, the Nicollet Mall winds through Minneapolis like a paved canal."
Summary: Guitarist Eddi McCandry has just dumped her boyfriend and their band when she finds herself running through the Minneapolis night, pursued by a sinister man and a huge, terrifying dog. As she soon discoers, the two creatures are one and the same: a phouka, a faerie being who has chosen Eddi to be the mortal pawn in the age-old war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

Eddi isn't interested -- but she doesn't have a choice. For more than her own survival is at stake. To save the city -- and man -- that she loves, Eddi must face off against the Dark Queen of the Unseelie Court in the ultimate duel of music and magic.

Source: Back of book

Review: My all-time favorite book. I really don't have anything to say about it. It's brilliant. It's fantastic. I love it. Read it.

Worst part: The dream sequence doesn't work with the rest of the book, I think.

Best part: All of it. It's my favorite -- I can't choose!

Grade: A+

Other Books by This Author: Finder and Bone Dance.

68 / 50 books. 136% done!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Maggie Stiefvater's FOREVER

Maggie's new book is coming out soon, and you can preorder it! Yay!

I highly recommend doing so, because her books are fantasmible.


Preorder here:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli

Can you have spoilers for a non-fiction book?

Harry, A History
Author: Melissa Anelli
Year of Publication: 2008
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 334
First Line: "Within twenty-four hours, everyone would know."
Summary: During the brief span of just one decade, hundreds of millions of perfectly ordinary people made history: they became the only ones who would remember what it was like when the Harry Potter saga was still unfinished. What it was like to seek out friends, families, online forums, fan fiction, and podcasts to get a fix between novels. When the potential death of a character was a hotter bet than the World Series. When the unfolding story of a boy wizard changed the way books are read for all time.

And as webmistress of the Leaky Cauldron, one of the most popular Harry Potter sites on the Internet, Melissa Anelli had a front row seat to it all. Whether it was helping Scholastic stop leaks and track down counterfeiters, hosting live PotterCasts at bookstores across the country, or touring to Edinburgh to interview J.K. Rowling personally, Melissa was at the center of the Harry Potter tornado, and nothing about her life would ever be the same.

The Harry Potter books are a triumph of the imagination that did far more than break sales records for all time. They restored the world's sense of wonder and took on a magical life of their own. Now the series has ended, but the story is not over. With remembrances from J.K. Rowling's editors, agents, publicists, fans, and Rowling herself, Melissa Anelli takes us on a personal journey through every aspect of the Harry Potter phenomenon -- from his very first psell to his lasting impact on the way we live and dream.

Source: Back of book

Review: Almost as emotional as reading Deathly Hallows for the first time. I really loved Anelli's style. It was engaging and interesting. Her insight is fantastic and she lived the dream of many Potter fans -- more-or-less befriending J.K. Rowling. As I was fairly young during the entire Potter phenomenon (I was seven or eight when the first book came out), much of this information is new to me or shown in a new light. I really enjoyed this book and it gave a lot of interesting information about the phenomenon as well as the books and J.K. Rowling. Even the parts concerning Anelli's life were interesting and I looked forward to those bits. Definitely worth checking out, even if you aren't (gasp!) a Potter fan.

Worst part: The arriving at the release day and such was kind of abrupt. But I think it's okay to have it this way, because that's how it felt.

Best part: J.K. Rowling's forward was really touching. I really enjoyed it.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: None, but she runs the Leaky Cauldron.

67 / 50 books. 134% done!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

No spoilers.

The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Year of Publication: 1963
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 229
First Line: "It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."
Summary:Esther, an A-student from Boston who has won a guest editorship on a national magazine, finds a bewildering new world at her feet. Her New York life is crowded with possibilities, so that the choice of future is overwhelming, but she can no longer retreat into the safety of her past. Deciding she wants to be a writer above all else, Esther is also struggling with the perennial problems of morality, behaviour and identity. In this compelling autobiographical novel, a milestone in contemporary literature, Sylvia Plath chronicles her teenage years - her disappointments, anger, depression and eventual breakdown and treatment - with stunning wit and devastating honesty.

Source: Here

Review: I liked this a lot more than I expected to. I found it to be a lot like The Catcher in the Rye. The style was very similar, and, the more books I read with this style, the more I enjoy it. It's very conversational and simple, but somehow timeless. Plath wrote realistically, taking much from her own life and inserting it into this novel. It's a spectacular book and if you haven't read it, you should.

Worst part: Some of the characters were tough to keep track of. It was a bit like an Austen novel in that way -- I always have a hard time keeping track of characters in books like this.

Best part: The ending worked really well for this book.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: Various selections of poetry.

66 / 50 books. 132% done!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Minor spoilers.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: J.K. Rowling
Year of Publication: 2007
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 759
First Line: "The two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane."
Summary: We now present the seventh and final installment in the epic tale of Harry Potter.

Source: Back of book

Review: Not my favorite in the series, but I still love it. I don't really know how to review this, I mean, it's Harry freakin' Potter (Very Potter Sequel, anyone?) but, yeah. Read it. But read the others first.

Worst part: The switch from tenttenttenttenttenttent to battle!!!!!!! was kind of abrupt.

Best part: J.K. Rowling is a genius. 'Nuff said.

Grade: A

Other Books by This Author: The entire Harry Potter series.

65 / 50 books. 130% done!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Changeling by Delia Sherman

Limited/Minor Spoilers.

Title: Changeling
Author: Delia Sherman
Year of Publication: 2006
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 289
First Line: "'Wake up, Neef. Spring cleaning today. Cobwebs to sweep, mice to relocate, turtles to wake up and polish. And you have to clean your room."
Summary: Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own. She lives in "New York Between," a Manhattan that exists invisibly, side by side with our own, home to fairies, demons, mermaids, and other creatures of Folk lore. Neef has always been protected by her fairy godmother, Astris (a very lovely white rat), until she breaks a Fairy Law. Now, unless she can meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park, she'll be sacrificed to the bloodthirsty Wild Hunt. Neef is a native New Yorker, and she's determined to beat the rap -- but New York Between is a maze of magic and magical rules, and time is running out....

Source: Back of book

Review: I found this story to be really enjoyable. Unlike a lot of other modern fantasies I've read, it has a very story-teller feel to it. It has all of the elements of a fairly tale (except romance, which, while I was disappointed when I realized there was none at first, I gradually came to accept and even enjoy it as a fresh change). The writing style is very simple, but the text is appropriate for all ages. One of the nice things it that Neef's age is never quite explained. Her counterpart, it seems, is about twelve, but because of the aging difference, it's difficult to say how old Neef is. That way, if you only like to read about characters your age or older, you can easily imagine Neef to be at least fifteen, maybe even seventeen or eighteen (though I wouldn't say beyond that). The characters in this book were a lot of fun, for the most part. I would definitely love to live in Neef's world. I also found the story to be interesting, aside from the beginning, which was fairly slow. Definitely recommended, particularly for very young adults (11+) who are looking for a way to get into larger "chapter books."

Worst part: The only character I really didn't like was the antagonist (the Green Lady). Usually I really like this character in fiction, but I found she wasn't quite what I was used to. Fairly unrefined and with a heavy New York accent (apparently), which I felt was the total opposite of what she should -- and traditionally is -- be.

Best part: I like that the Changeling was made out to have a mental handicap, which could have been a result of -- or the misunderstanding of -- her being one of the Folk.

Grade: B

Other Books by This Author: Through a Brazen Mirror, The Porcelain Dove, and The Fall of the Kings.

64 / 50 books. 128% done!

Also, I miss you all! I hope everyone is doing well and having fun at the library! I'll do my best to stop by when I'm home in December, or at least at the end of the school year in May! Keep reading!