Monday, June 29, 2009

Ghostly Encounters (book review)

Ghostly Encounters, by Frances Kermeen, is a book about the haunted inns and hotels of America. Starting with what has been called the most haunted house in America, the Myrtles Plantation, the author brings us on a journey across the U.S., from California to Maine. Read about ghostly bears, stallions, and cats. Encounter evil dolls, floating candles, and lovers reunited after death. These stories are fascinating and will keep you up all night! There was a nice range of stories in this book. Some were scary, some were bittersweet, and some were funny. At the end of each story, Ms. Kermeen also provides detailed information about the hotel, including contact info, dining info, and the best rooms to check into if you want to have a ghostly encounter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saving Zoe (book review)

Saving Zoe, by Alyson Noel, is a moving story of sisterhood, secrets, and coming of age. Fifteen-year-old Echo is still struggling with the brutal murder of her older sister, Zoe. She misses her dearly, but also feels that she will never live up to her memory. Then, Zoe's former boyfriend Marc gives Echo Zoe's diary. At first she doesn't want it, convinced that she knows her sister like no one else does. But when her own life starts to take some unexpected turns, Echo begins reading. In the pages of her sister's diary, Echo finds a Zoe that nobody knew, not even her parents. But she also learns that one of her friends is in trouble from one of the same people who hurt Zoe. Can Echo save her friend, herself...and her sister?

I really enjoyed this book! It was reminiscent of Thirteen Reasons Why, and I would recommend it to fans of that novel. The plot moved so fast and the book was hard to put down. It kept me up way into the night. However, I should probably say here that this book is NOT for younger readers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

May Bird: Warrior Princess (book review)

May Bird: Warrior Princess, by Jodi Lynn Anderson, is the final installment in the May Bird trilogy. It has been three years since ten-year-old May Bird wandered into the land of the dead, a magical place called the Ever After. It was claimed that May and her cat, Somber Kitty, were the only ones who could save the Ever After from certain doom. But, when May found a chance to escape the Ever After and return home, she took it, leaving her friends behind. Now, at thirteen, May is ready to return to the afterlife. But she gets her wish in a most unexpected way...she dies. And the Ever After now is not what it once was. It has been turned into a vast wasteland ruled by the evil spirit Bo Cleevil. Can May find her friends and finally become the warrior princess she was always destined to be?

I think this was probably the best of all three books in the series, even though they were all great. The characters were interesting and dynamic, and the book was just the right mix of fantasy, horror, and humor.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Coraline Graphic Novel (book review)

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell, is the graphic adaption of Gaiman's bestselling children's novel. It is based on the book, not the movie. In the story, Coraline is exploring her flat one day when she discovers a door that leads her on a journey to a magical world quite like her own, but better. Except for the fact that there is an other mother and an other father there, with buttons instead of eyes, and they want to sew buttons into her eyes and make her stay with them forever. Coraline will have to use everything she's got if she wants to outwit them and return to her own world.

I really enjoyed this book. The pictures were beautiful, and they really added new life to the story. However, I would recommend reading the original novel before reading this book.

This book was for the Once Upon A Time Challenge III.

The Other Side of the Island (book review)

The Other Side of the Island, by Allegra Goodman, is a haunting vision of the future. Global warming has resulted in an enormous flood, and the only places left are small, isolated islands called Colonies. A mysterious figure named Earth Mother and her Corporation control all of these colonies. Everyone obeys the laws of Earth Mother, and no one questions the life that has been set up for them. But Honor knows her parents are different. They own books, they don't worship Earth Mother, and they stay out past curfew. Honor doesn't know what happens to those who don't obey Earth Mother, but she's sure its not good. And one day, when she returns home and her parents are gone, she must take care of herself and her brother Quintillian all alone. She knows she can't do this for long--she's got to find out the secret of Earth Mother--and get her parents back.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a frightening vision of what life might be like years from now. I always wanted to read more; it was so interesting. Honor was a well-rounded, dynamic heroine whom I felt I could relate to.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees (book review)

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, is a heartwarming story about the importance of family. Set in South Carolina in 1964, the story revolves around 14-year-old heroine Lily's search for a mother. After a tragic accident killed her real mom when she was four, Lily has been taken care of by her cruel and unloving father, T. Ray, and his fiery-hearted black servant, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen insults three of their small town's biggest racists and lands herself in jail, Lily decides to set them both free. After she breaks Rosaleen out of jail, they run away to Tiburon, S.C., a town that holds the secret of Lily's mother. They are taken in by three black beekeeping sisters, and as Lily is introduced to their strange world of honey and bees, she realizes that she has discovered a family in a place that she would never have dreamed.

I really loved this book! It was funny at times and sad at others, but the whole book was incredibly interesting. I never wanted to put it down. I would recommend this book to anyone, really. It was written in beautiful prose that would grab anybody, even a reluctant reader.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Julie's Wolf Pack (book review)

I know I haven't written a book review for the last few books I've read, so I decided to write one for this book. It is the sequel to the bestselling book Julie of the Wolves. In the story, we follow a wolf pack in the Alaskan tundra through their daily life. The leader of the pack, Kapu, keeps the pack together, despite frequent challenges from an annoying wanna-be, Raw Bones. They face hardships and celebrate the birth of new pups. Although they lose many pups to the tundra, some grow and survive to become future hunters. The first big change comes when a newcomer, Ice Blink, joins the pack. Although none of the wolves know it, Ice Blink harbors the rabies virus. After her pack was destroyed by an epidemic, she moved on. Luckily, the virus is contained and none of the wolves (except for Ice Blink) die. But when Kapu suddenly disappears near the end of the book, his daughter Sweet Fur Amy must take the stage. Can she handle being the new alpha? And will Kapu return?

This was a great book for any wolf lover to read. It was written in beautiful but easy to read prose, and I thought it was interesting to look into the life of a wolf pack.