Friday, July 22, 2011

Knightley Academy Review

I'll admit, I was a little concerned when I chose to read this book next. It sounded a lot like Harry Potter to me, which admittedly it was, but I was concerned that it would be too similar and that I wouldn't be able to finish it. And then I'd feel bad because I've watched the authors youtube videos and think she's awesome, but I wouldn't like her book.

This thought was disproved about twenty pages into the book.

I want gush on and on about how much I adored this book. I think it's simply brilliant. And while yes, I can draw comparisons from Harry Potter to this, this does not keep me from being excited to read the next one by any means.

Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher (a pseudonym, by the way) is a book about a school for knights, fittingly enough called Knightley Academy. But that's not where our story begins. Our story begins at the Midsummer School and with a servant boy named Henry.

Now Henry, despite his lowly position, has been treated to a gentlemen's education by a professor at the school named Professor Stratford. Professor Stratford convinces Henry to take the entrance exam to Knightley by showing him a loophole in the rules. He agrees and to the surprise of no one but him and the other boys in the story, Henry makes it into Knightley Academy. Naturally, he and hi new friends get into all kinds of adventures.

Now one aspect of this book that is touched upon is that it is not contemporary nor is it hisorical fiction. But it is steam-punk, which to me is a rather silly word. Basically, it takes place in Victorian Era (true, but not an England any of us would recognize) and has a twist (their country is not called England but it's like an alternate universe). Maybe I don't have a strong conception on what steampunk is (genres are not my strong point) but this fits the classification to me.

Definitely check it out!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scarlett Fever Review

As a general rule, I dislike reviewing books that are sequels or as in this case, the second book of a series. I feel that if you read the first book in a series, you'll base your opinion of whether to read the second book on whether you liked the first book or not, not on what I think.

However, I feel the need to review Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson.

Having read all of Maureen Johnson's previous books I did have some expectations when beginning to read this book.

a. That the whole Martin family would be back for more fun adventures.

b. That it would be something I"d enjoy reading.

c. That it would be hilarious in general.

I can safely say that all of these expectations were fulfilled. When we last left Scarlett, she and Eric had broken things off, leaving her heartbroken and her brother Spencer had successfully saved his career. After many more failed auditions, he is happy to finally land a job on popular television show called Crime and Punishment.

I feel that the main plot rarely focuses on Scarlett herself. It's more of a book of things that are happening around her that she can't control and her reactions to them. Which at first sounds silly, but it makes sense. She's fifteen; there isn't much you can control at fifteen. Despite never wanting to be an actress, she seems to be surrounded by actors and actresses, professionally or otherwise.

All of your favorite characters are back. Scarlett's brother Spencer, the aspirign actor, Marlene the cancer survivor, Lola the hardworking one, and Mrs. Amerson, Scarlett's crazy boss. But we are also joined with a new cast of characters. Chelsea, an aspiring actress who just moved to the city, her pageant mom Mrs. Biggs, her rebellious brother Max, and Dakota Scarlett's best friend.

I enjoy Maureen Johnson's book immensely. My one complaint is that this book ends rather suddenly in my opinion. It just sort of stops. There's a bit of a cliffhanger and a bit of resolution, but overall the ending felt rather sudden for me. I do hope that the third book in this series comes out next year, for I am excited to see how it ends with Scarlett.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Library Book Haul

Today I went to not one, but two libraries. I was only going to pick up my holds, not really allowing for hardcore perusal time, but I was able to grab a couple interesting finds.

First book I picked up was Gone by Michael Grant. Now I don't know about you, readers, but I have heard a lot about this book. It definitely looks interesting.

Next, I picked up Forever in Blue: the Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares. I read the first three in this series ages ago, and I would like to complete the series.

From a different library I picked up four books, two of which were holds. the first was The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene. It's probably typical Nancy Drew book, but I'm excited to read it. I like children's literature.

My next hold is nonfiction. It's called Reading Harry Potter Again edited by Giselle Liza Anatol. It's a bunch of essays about reading the Harry Potter series critically. Apparently, there's a first one that was released right before the fifth book, so I might pick that one up too if this one proves interesting.

A book I picked up, rather at random, is The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I've heard some about this book, and have been a little intrigued by it. And it was just kinda sitting on the shelf so I said to myself, "Why not?"

The last book I picked up is Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It's a historical fiction novel, another one that I've heard a bit about. It looks like your average Holocaust related fiction to me, but I figured I'd give it a whirl.

Still reading Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan. It's excellent so far. I'm also reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which is another interesting read.

Keep reading!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What am I Reading? #2

Well, it is Monday.

Right now I'm going through a few series. I'm reading The Thursday Next series and the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy. The book I'm currently reading and have a bookmark in is Duty and Desire of the Fitzwilliam Darcy series. I'm on the final book of The Thursday Next series, which is The Well of Lost Plots. I'll probably read that next then review the series as a whole.

I'm also working my way through the first ten books of the Nancy Drew series, which was inspired by HerInteractive's Nancy Drew video games. Right now, I'm on The Bungalow Mystery. The books are all written in a similar format and basically have the same ending (Spoiler: Nancy solves the case. Every time.) But, the books are cute and they are very relaxing for summer.