Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lord of the Flies (book review)

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is the story of a group of schoolboys who are the only survivors of a plane crash. Stranded on a remote island, they decide that they must build a large fire so that they can be rescued. By day they frolic on golden beaches and swim in sparkling waters. But at night they dream of a hideous beast roaming the island. Soon, their fear brings out the worst in them and they begin to act like savage animals. More than one boy will be killed before they are rescued...

Okay, I apologize. I know this is really oversimplified, but I just didn't want to give anything away.

I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely creepy and not for the fainthearted, but it always had plenty of action and was never boring. I'd recommend it to almost anybody, but especially fans of the Island and Flight 29 Down series, because this book is reminiscent of those, but a bit more brutal.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jane Eyre (book review)

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is a classic story of love and sacrifice. Jane, the main character, narrates the story. It begins when she is ten years old, living at her cruel Aunt Reed's house. Being an orphan, Jane has nowhere else to go. Two of her cousins, Eliza and Georgiana, treat her coldly, and their brother, John, is an outright bully. Jane suffers along until her aunt decides to send her to Lowood Institute, a school for orphaned children. She makes various friends and spends a total of eight years at the school--six as a student and two as a teacher. But finally Jane realizes she is not content and posts an ad in the paper looking for a job. She finds one as a governess for a little French girl at stately Thornfield Hall. However, something mysterious is going on there...could it be haunted by a ghost or something even more gruesome? The secret is finally revealed when Jane is about to be married to the master of Thornfield Hall, Mr. Rochester, and it prevents the two from getting married. Brokenhearted and wanting to avoid temptation, Jane sets off on her own, wandering for several days until she comes to a house inhabited by the Rivers family. The head of the house, St. John Rivers, offers Jane a position as schoolmistress for some poor village girls. She accepts the job, but soon after she starts she finds that she has been left with a huge inheritance by her uncle. Splitting it with the Rivers, she moves in with them again. However, something deep within her finally calls her back to Thornfield, and, telling her newfound family she is going on a short trip, she heads back, only to find that it has burned down at that Mr. Rochester, blind and crippled from the fire, has moved somewhere else. She tracks him down and finds that he still loves her like she loves him, and, freed from the obstacle that stopped them before, they marry.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be kind of dry and hard to read, but that wasn't the case at all. I don't think there was a single boring part of this book, but the least interesting part was Jane's time at Lowood. I guess I think that because not much happened there, at least not compared to other parts of the book. The characters were dynamic and complex, and I felt like they were real people who could step off the page if they wanted to. I think fans of classics would really love this book, but even if you're not really into classics, I still think you might want to give it a try.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thank You, Carl!

For my birthday this year, Carl sent me some wonderful gifts: a book called Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan, a beautiful blank book from Paperblanks with a copy of one of my poems in the front, and two beautiful postcards by Anne-Julie Aubry (one of my favorite artists!). Wasn't that really nice of him?!! I've started writing in the journal, but I haven't read the book yet. It sounds very good, though, and I can't wait to get to it! Thank you so much, Carl!!! I will be sending you a Thank-you card soon!

All Shook Up (book review)

All Shook Up, by Glenn Altschuler, is a nonfiction book chronicling the story of rock n roll through the lives of famous rock n rollers, critics of the music, and teenage fans. It discusses rock n roll's connections with race, sexuality, and the generation gap. This book gives an in-depth look at the people who were responsible for the rise of rock n roll, which was anything but an ordinary style of music at the time.

If you want an in-depth but easy-to-read approach to rock n roll, this is the book for you! I never tired of the topics that the author brought up, and I learned a lot about the conflicts facing America during the time of big rock n roll stars such as Elvis Presley. This was truly a fascinating book!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Warriors: Sunrise (book review)

Warriors: Sunrise, by Erin Hunter, is the final installment in Warriors: Power of Three. In this book, the three young warrior cats Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, and Lionblaze will discover a shocking secret that they were never meant to know. Their very existence goes against every rule of the warrior code, and eventually the secret about their true identity will have to come out. But when it does, another cat's life will be lost and the clans will be thrown into chaos.

Meanwhile, Lionblaze and Hollyleaf must embark on a dangerous journey to find the strange loner Sol. Can he offer them advice in this time of darkness? But Sol has wicked plans in his mind, and he is willing to manipulate Thunderclan in order to carry them out.

I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was the best in the series, and it definitely had a shocking ending that I never would have expected. All fans of the Warriors series should read this book!

I am using this book for the Once Upon A Time Challenge III.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (book review)

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague, the third installment in the renowned Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, is a fantasy story filled with danger, excitement, and adventure. Fablehaven is one of five magical preserves, the last places on Earth where magical creatures can gather in safety. Fourteen-year-old Kendra and twelve-year-old Seth are staying with their grandparents, the caretakers, for the summer. For a while it seems that all is well, until Seth discovers a magical plague that turns good creatures into creatures of darkness. The plague is spreading faster than anyone can imagine, and it is doubtful that the plague can be stopped. Will Fablehaven have to be abandoned for good?

Meanwhile, Kendra and her friends are journeying deep into the heart of another magical preserve located in Arizona in order to recover a mystical artifact. It is a dangerous place, filled with dragons, zombies, and ancient Native American spirits, and not everyone will make it out alive...

I loved this book! I thought it was by far the best in the series. They just keep getting better! There was a wide and varied cast of characters and the plot was full of twists and turns. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone out there looking for a unique twist on fantasy.

I am using this book for the Once Upon A Time Challenge III.