English, Please?

Just finished The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, the third book in The Olympians series! Started and finished today, that is (didn’t have too much homework). Here’s the overview:

When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He know he’ll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide, and … a ride from his mom.
The demigods race to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two new powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown. But that’s not all that awaits them. The Titan lord, Kronos, has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

This is a great MG/YA book. I really enjoyed reading the book, even though it’s been awhile since I read the first two books in the series. Even though I read it pretty quickly, the plot sort of dragged in the beginning because I was still catching up again; however, it quickly sped up and kept me interested the entire time. Riordan truly created suspese and mystery; I never knew the full extent of what was going on. I was always a step or two behind, trying to piece things together but finding out before I could figure it out. I loved how it was a non-stop story. There were no awkward breaks, no pauses where there had to be a fill-in chapter or anything. Everything flowed really nicely, and totally made sense.

There was a lot of character growth in the book too, from what I recalled of the series. There’s the Percy/Annabeth question, the parent/offspring relationships with the gods, the intergod relations, etc. Everything becomes more important, especially for the next book, which I will read next: The Battle of the Labyrinth. I can’t wait to see what adventures they will go on next!

The Greek mythology also never ceases to amaze me. I am continually learning, even though Greek and Roman mythology were my favorite parts of English and World History. It’s definitely part of why I enjoy the series. However, even if you don’t like myths and/or legends, this series is still excellent. The action, the friendships, and the plot would keep anybody interested. I can personally tell you that the series appeals to all ages, even though it’s aimed at middle grade readers – my brother read it, I’m reading it now, and my dad is also enjoying the books.

Until the next review,
Yours Truly

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Love is Forever

Maggie Stiefvater is a genius. Forever, the last in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, was, simply put, amazing.

In Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Isn’t the overview just so vague?! It left so much room for Maggie to explore the characters and relationships and plot. I loved Forever. Grace and Sam’s relationship grew so much, and from the different perspectives of other characters I could see so many more aspects of their love. Grace’s relationship with her parents was also expanded, and I really admired Grace for how she handled the issues she faced about being a wolf. Sam was just so cute, and his feelings for Grace really showed. I also enjoyed seeing Isabel’s character really develop and put through a lot of stress and self-discovery, even though it sounds a bit corny. Cole and Isabel together made for some pretty funny scenes, and I the ending? AMAZING! Although, honestly, I think it left a little to be desired with Sam and Grace. I really want to attend their wedding, and it kind of upset me that things weren’t exactly settled or decided with them. Not everything was fully resolved in the plot, leaving me wanting a fourth book, focusing a lot more on the specific relationships.

The challenges each character goes through were creatively thought up and written, each character’s point of view so distinct. The way Maggie writes the thoughts, sometimes disjointed, sometimes continuous, is very reminiscent of poetry every once in a while, especially with Sam because of his connection with German poets. I liked the differences between the wolf mind and the human mind, and the extreme difficulties the group faces just emphasizes the hugeness of the emotions that everyone is feeling.

I highly recommend this series to any young adult reader, although there are some scenes with nudity. I can’t wait to read more of Maggie’s work, including The Scorpio Races.

~Yours Truly

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 10

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

“What is your favorite Halloween costume? Even if you don’t celebrate, what kinds of costumes do you like?”

My favorite costumes are the ones that are made from scratch, a skirt here, a borrowed hat there. They make it seem so creative and the best costumes, the ones that seem as though they could have been bought all together, are amazing to see. But store-bought costumes are cool, too, depending on what you are. This year, I’m not trick-or-treating, but I’m borrowing my mom’s Taylor Swift wig and dressing up like her. The teachers at the school my mom works at are dressing up like celebrities, so Lady Gaga and Ke$ha might be seen in the NJ area on Monday! Happy Halloween guys!

**The BookBlogger Hop is being put on hiatus by Crazy-for-Books for a little while. If it starts back up again, I’ll be participating though!

~Yours Truly

Poetry in Modern Day

No, this is not a post with another poem by me. Although, I did promise you more writing, so if you guys want to hear it, then just let me know. No, this is a review of So Shelly by Ty Roth.

High school junior John Keats has only tiptoed near the edge of the vortex that is Gordon Byron, schoolmate and literary prodigy. That is, until their mutual friend, Michelle “Shelly” Shelley, drowns in a sailing “accident.”
After stealing Shelly’s ashes from her memorial at Trinity High, Keats and Gordon set a course for the small Lake Erie island where her body washed ashore, and where she wanted to be laid to rest. Granting her last wish would be Keats and Gordon’s way of letting their friend have one final “so Shelly” romantic journey. As they make their way to Lake Erie, navigating obstacles and resisting temptations, Keats and Gordon glue together the shattered pieces of Shelly’s and their own pasts while attempting to make sense of her premature death.

Even though the cover is amazing, when I first started this book, it was awful. I thought, this is YA fiction? Why? There didn’t seem to be a point to it at all. There were three characters, none of whom seemed particularly close to anyone else, despite their so-called friendship. There were a lot of inappropriate scenes, graphic/descriptive in style, and it all seemed to be about Gordon, not Shelly’s life or even Keats’s, though he was the narrator. However, once I read the last few chapters, it began to make sense. It was, after all, about life and death, as the author stated in the very beginning and restated at the end; it just didn’t seem that way until everything was tied up and over, which was entirely the author’s point, I believe. The book was written to teach a life lesson.

Still, I didn’t understand the whole book until I read the afterward, parts of which I think should have been part of a foreword instead. Given the choice, I would not reread this book, but honestly, I think it depends on the reader. If you can stand a lot of beating around the bush that’s not even suspenseful, is just fluff, then go right ahead and read it. Even in making his point, Roth belabors it so that you want to shout at him, “All right already! I get it! Get to the end!” especially because of some of the content.

**This book is for mature teens, due to language and explicit scenes that occupy most of the book.

Hopefully the next book I read will be more entertaining and less BLAH. Forever, the last book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, is up next for review.
~Yours Truly

TRUTH

Just finished Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever!! Okay, so I actually finished it yesterday, but I didn’t have time to write the review. So I’m writing it now.

A long dull summer stretches ahead of Macy while her boyfriend Jason is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of her father.
But sometimes unexpected things can happen – things like the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things like meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to wonder if it really is better to be safe than sorry.

I think all of Sarah Dessen’s books have a specific tone to them. What Happened to Goodbye was fast, angry, and passionate. Along for the Ride was passionate, too, but in a more intriguing sort of way, that piqued interest. The Truth About Forever was more of a lullaby, with some rough patches. I think if you combined them all together, you’d get a modern version of Fur Elise by Beethoven – a passionate, angry, yet soft, love song.

Macy is amazing. Really. It amazed me how clueless she was. But actually, I suppose that’s what makes Sarah Dessen such a great realistic fiction author: she is able to pick out the characteristics in human beings that people don’t realize is there in themselves. Macy was obviously hurt, but she thought she was dealing with her grief in a healthy way. By shutting down and expecting to fail at being perfect. I love how she grows and changes throughout the book, how eventually the story ends. But my absolute favorite person in this book? One guess. The guy, Wes, of course! He is pretty much my dream guy. Honest, knows what’s important, and really CARES. He doesn’t fake it, he’s genuine. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s good-looking. I mean, girls openly stared at him. But anyway. The friendship/relationship/whatever you want to call it that he and Macy have was just really, really fun to read. I loved all the truths that they told, and how the game ended.

I also enjoyed Macy’s newfound friends at Wish Catering. Bert was hilarious, as was Delia. The chaos in and of itself was entertaining. I loved Kristy, especially. She was the picture-perfect best friend: no matter what happened, could give it to Macy straight, and admitted to her mistakes. she was open, honest, and caring. Her sister Monica was also an interesting character because of what she added in comic relief as well as deep insight, despite the fact that she really only says three phrases the entire book.

Even though the ending was a bit confusing, sort of reminiscent of What Happened to Goodbye, with a quick end, it was still really good. I can’t wait to read another of her books, but next on the list to finish reading/review is So Shelly.

Until then or the BookBlogger Hop,
Yours Truly

Another Sarah Dessen

So, I finished What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen the other day, and never got to writing this review. Sorry, guys!

Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Like the other books I have read by Sarah, this one was fraught with emotion. Tension, anger, grief, and at the same time happiness mixed in as well. I love how her main character, usually the girl, changes, but that there’s also usually a little romance going on too, and the guy can change and have epiphanies and stuff too. I like her books because they’re a little break from all the paranormal/fantasy stuff and a chance to read some realistic fiction.

McClean was an interesting character because of the contrast between what she was feeling and what I was feeling. Even though I honestly was just enjoying the storyline and book in general, I aslo realized something things about myself while reading the book, and about emotions in general. For instance, when people tick me off, I get MAD. And enjoy being mad because it allows me to let loose any anger/frustration I have. And then I’m good until someone makes me mad again. But McClean, even when she was angry, for some reason, even though she wanted to, and I wanted her to, she almost never lost her cool. That’s probably the only thing about the book that I didn’t like. That she didn’t really get a chance to yell and scream and be hormonal teenager; she sort of just pent it all up and eventually let it out in tears.

I did, however, enjoy each one of her personas, and loved every second of her thoughts and ideas. I liked how I thought some things would happen but they didn’t, or something else happened instead, but there was also a time (the end) where I wish things happened slightly differently. I felt that the end wasn’t necessarily abrupt, but that there was something missing, that it all ended maybe too decompressed, emotionally, because the rest of the book was so intense.

All in all, though, a great book. I’m also almost done with The Truth About Forever, also by Sarah Dessen, so I’ll review that soon too.
~Yours Truly

Weekend BookBlogger Hop: 9

The BookBlogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books every weekend. Basically, if you blog about books, answer a question provided and if you link to their post in your blog, you can add your blog to their list of participants. This week’s question is:

“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”

Honestly, I don’t really like truly spooky books. I’ll read Sherlock Holmes, but that’s not really spooky. I’ve ALWAYS loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys series, but other than those and two-minute mysteries, that’s basically all the spook I’ve got. However, even though I’ve never read them, as kids my friends used to read R.L. Stine’s mysteries. For me they were too creepy for a seven year old (or however old we were), so I read the Boxcar kids. I’ll say that they were what led me to Nancy Drew, but still, mystery has never been a main genre for me. What about you? Any good recommendations?