Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Progress Overview

Read
Snow
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (audiobook)
Princess Academy
Deathly Hallows (audiobook)
Number the Stars (practically done. I have about 20 pages left!)

I have been productive this month! I usually don't read more than 6 books a month! YAY!
Reviews for the rest will be up in a week or 2. This post is scheduled because I'm out of town until the 7th.

Challenges:
7/10 books
This has been extended until the 31st and I'm reading 2 other Harry Potter related books (Unofficial HP Cookbook and Film Wizardry)
Sorry I can't do the Book vs Movie for 5 and 6 like I planned!
I'll just do a double whammy post when I get back!

4/9 books

Ella Enchanted
Witch of Blackbird Pond
Princess Academy
Number the Stars

I upped my goal to 9 books after I found some more Newbery books buried among my things.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Obedience is always good... or is it?
Ella knows what it’s like to always be obedient. She was cursed with it when she was young. Now she has no choice. Her life was put in danger by the fairy Lucinda at birth. She has to follow any command given to her, even to end her life. Luckily she has had her loving and understanding mother with her who keeps her safe from dangerous commands.
Only when her mother dies does Ella realizes how much danger she’s really in. Her father sends her away to finishing school with the spiteful Hattie and her dull sister Olive. On the journey there, Hattie quickly realizes Ella’s secret and uses it against her.
In an attempt to reverse the spell, she leaves school to find Lucinda, who does nothing but make it worse.

I have a deep love of Gail Carson Levine’s books. Her writing isn’t as lyrical as many other fairy tale retellers, but it’s just as magical. It is more appealing to a wider audience. She uses clever humor, realistic characters, and unique settings to create completely amazing stories!

This book was part of the Award Winning Reads Challenge


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Book Review: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Free Throws


Cami and Josie are BFFL. They play basketball together, they shop together, they talk about families, homework, and boys.
Josie plays basketball all for the fun of it, and is a master at free throws. Cami plays to win, but can’t make a free throw to save her life.
Their friendship starts to fall apart after Josie discovers that Cami has been flirting with Ethan, Josie’s long-time crush. This starts to affect everything else in their life. Now their crumbling friendship is  crumbling their chances of playing basketball with WNBA star Rebecca Lobo.

I love Janette Rallison even more with each word of hers I read! I enjoyed her other books more, but this was still really good.
I found the shifting perspectives confusing because of how similar the characters and their voices were. I liked the ending. It was a short, simple story that I thought was enjoyable.


Foreign Covers!


Italian, French, British Adult

German, British, Spanish

Spanish, Finnish, Dutch

British Adult, Italian, French

German, Dutch, Ukranian

Spanish, Italian, German

Ukranian, British, Finnish

I love looking at foreign covers of my favorite books! Covers set the feel for books. I picked my 3 favorite foreign covers from each of the books. I think they capture the feel of the book, but give it a look different from the US covers.

What's your favorite foreign cover?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday! (9)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Other girls on the hill watched the last petal on their miri flowers tick off and float away. Miri wondered how many were wishing to wear a silver gown and how many were wishing for a title before their name.

page 160 of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale




Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Harry’s world has changed forever. He has lost a dear friend and has heard the prophecy of his destiny to either kill Voldemort or be killed. Once back at Hogwarts, Harry begins  lessons with Dumbledore to prepare him for his future. The lessons don’t involve defensive spells or the like as Harry was expecting, but learning the history of Voldemort.
Harry is also surprised in another class; Potions. He rises to the top of the class quickly thanks to someone known as the Half-Blood Prince, who left his old copy of Advance Potion Making in the ingredient cupboard.  He wrote his own instructions for potions and spells.
Harry’s social life has changed quite a bit. Instead of people either ignoring or laughing at him, they’re trying to hang out with him and some girls are trying to sneak him love potions.
Harry is learning more and more from Dumbledore. Their newest study is Horcruxes. Horcruxes are evil pieces of dark magic that contain the living soul of someone. It is Harry’s job to assist Dumbledore in tracking down and destroying Voldemort’s 6 Horcruxes.

JK Rowling will never fail me! Utterly stunning! I love all the mystery involved with the Half-Blood Prince and Voldemort. Of course you know how much I like flashbacks, so I love the lessons with Dumbledore where all that goes on has to do with Voldemort’s past!
This book has such a different feel that the others. It might be because this is the first book I had to wait for, so I’d had several years to make predictions with didn’t come true.

I know I was shocked in the end the first time I read it! WOW! What a strange twist! And I like it even more when it’s all explained in the end of the 7th book!

(The 2nd picture is of a deluxe edition signed by Jim Dale! I met him shortly after the 6th book was released. I quote my mother (who came with me) by saying "She knows your voice better than her grandpa's voice!" which is true to this day!)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Book Review: Harry Poter and the Order of the Phoenix


I've been procrastinating about writing this review. I listened to the audiobook more than a week ago! It's been holding up my other reviews, too!


Harry, Harry, Harry... What are we to do with you?
We leave you at your Aunt and Uncle’s house and you go get attacked by dementors and land yourself a hearing with the entire Wizengamot.
We warn you to stay on the good side of Umbridge, still you get stuck in detention with her.
We keep reminding you to tune Voldemort out of your brain, but he keeps messing with your mind anyway.


This book really starts Harry's journey to destroy Voldemort, with the DA and the weapon playing crucial roles. 
I hate Umbridge with a passion! I seriously want to smack her! (I felt the same way towards my sister's pet Dolores!)
I also really don't like Cho. To me she seems like the original Bella Swan. They even had the same boyfriend(or at least the same actor)
This book is FAT! 870 pages of FAT! Lots of people say it's too long and that it's drawn out. I say it's fat with wonderfully rich dialogue, plot, characters and settings. 





It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (10)


It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! 


READ
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
JK Rowling

 CURRENTLY READING
 Princess Academy
Shannon Hale

 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
JK Rowling

 The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Elizabeth George Speare

 TO READ
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

Romeo and Juliet
WIlliam Shakespeare

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen