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Archive for January, 2009

Read online

I’ve come across a few great things this past week. I am part of the HarperCollins group on Facebook and they sent out a message announcing that certain books would be available to read online.

For the next couple of weeks you can go here to read The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. This is completely great. I own the book but haven’t gotten around to reading it so I’m really excited to be able to read it when I get a few minutes here and there online.

I also found out through Bookluver Carol’s Reviews that you can go here to read the first book in the Ranger’s Apprentice Series. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. It will be up until Feb. 15th. This is awesome that Penguin is putting the complete book online! I’ve wanted to start this series for a long time and I can’t wait to start reading!

I hope more publishers make complete books available online like this. It is really convenient. I’m not a huge fan of reading online, but sometimes I just don’t have the money to get books from the store or I don’t remember I want to check them out from the library (or I’m too lazy to do either).

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I am SO behind on my reviews that Wordpess has totally changed their layout.  To be honest I was a little burned out after Thanksgiving.  I had a ton of work to do for the end of the semester over Thanksgiving break and just kind of turned into a slacker after it was over.  However, the new semester is upon us (starts Monday!) and it’s my last so I’m trying to get myself caught up on everything before I have homework.

So, back over Thanksgiving break, I read Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst.  It is a story about a a girl named Julie who isn’t living a regular teenage life.  See, her mother is Rapunzel, her adopted brother is Puss-in-Boots and her grandmother is a wicked witch…well formerly wicked. 

Julie’s family escaped from The Wild, which now resides under her bed, so they could live their own lives and not have to be trapped into repeating their fairy tale over and over again.    Julie is annoyed with her weird family and doesn’t like have to babysit a plant (which has been known to eat shoes).  Her grandmother guards the wishing well which could bring The Wild back were someone to make a wish, so why does she have to be so careful all the time.

Then one day it happens.  The Wild has been freed and Julie’s mother and grandmother have been pulled back into their old fairy tales.  Julie must be brave, enter The Wild, resist getting pulled into a fairy tale story trap, and save her family. 

Review:  This was a great book.  I read it in the car on the way to Florida (when I wasn’t driving) and finished it in a few hours.  I really got involved in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. 

I also thought the plot was really unique.  I liked the idea of fairy tale characters being “trapped” in their stories and never really getting to happily ever after. 

I also was just finishing up a storytelling class at school so I had been reading tons of different fairy tales and so it was neat to read this book and know some of the random fairy tales that were mentioned. 

I definitely recommend this book.  It is a quick read and great for anyone interested in fairy tales.

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Lucy Scarborough is a regular teenage girl.  She runs track and is looking forward to getting asked to the prom by her crush.  But Lucy’s life isn’t all that normal.  She lives in a foster home because her mother is crazy, homeless, and unfit to act as a parent.

When Lucy turns 17 she finds out she only has a short time before she goes crazy like her mother.  She’s pregnant and must try to break the family curse before her baby is born.  If she doesn’t, she will suffer the fate of her mother and all the Scarborough women before her. 

Lucy must follow the instruction in an old version of Scarborough Fair and try to complete the three impossible tasks listed.  She has the help of her family but will that be enough?  Will she have enough to time break the curse?  Or is she doomed to a life of insanity?

Review:  This book was awesome!!!!  I read it on the trip home from Florida at Thanksgiving.  I was so into it, I didn’t even realize what was happening around me.  My boyfriend would ask me something I wouldn’t even hear that he had spoken.  Awesome.

Although I really liked the storyline and the characters, I thought a lot of the dialogue seemed forced.  It was almost as if the story was supposed to take place in the 50s or something.  Somehow certain word choices didn’t seem natural and they stuck out.  It was kind of annoying.

I was able to overlook this though because everything else was so great.  I love that Werlin took a wellknown folk song and made a kind of creepy story to go along with a different version. 

Speaking of creepy, I felt spooked out a lot when reading this.  Everytime certain characters would come around I felt like someone was watching me or something.  The curse being written into a song somehow seemed spooky, too.

One character in particular kind of messed the story up (for me) even though he was such a important part of the plot.  He was clearly bad news and everyone just kind of let him hang around.  It was weird.  Even if people had bad feelings about him, they never were able to add two and two together until after certain facts were revealed.  I don’t want to say more without ruining the story, but I feel like anyone who reads this will know exactly what I mean.

This book gets a big ol’ five star rating!

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Out of the Wild is the sequel to Into the Wild.  In the first book, Julie has to save her mother from The Wild, no one knows exactly what’s happening, but when The Wild mysteriously releases Julie’s father – a prince – everyone knows something bad is going to happen.

Soon Sleeping Beauty has been kidnapped and Julie’s father begins performing heroic fairy tale events allowing The Wild to grow again.

Julie is once again forced to save the world from the dangers of The Wild.  If she fails, everyone in the world will be trapped in The Wild living out fairy tales for all eternity.

Review:  This book was also a fun, quick read.  I did not like it nearly as much as Into the Wild, though.  I thought the overall story was kind of lacking and it seemed like certain things were glossed over and the plot just didn’t seem 100% thought out…or something.

I would still recommend it to anyone who read and liked the first book.  There is action and adventure and everything moves quickly.  I just feel like it didn’t make as much sense as the first book.  Almost as if the rules created in the first book were thrown out in order for this story to take place.  But…sadly I read this over a month ago and can’t exactly put my finger on what it was that bugged me about the book. 

Still it’s  a good read and worth the time, though.

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