Why Are There All These Blank Spaces?

You may notice that in some of my posts there are blank spaces in the reviews. These are spoilers that I've written so I can remember important details of the books when I want to read the sequel. I've made the text a beige color to blend in with the background so you won't accidentally see something you don't want to. If you want to read it, just highlight the section to make the text appear - although you should really just read the book yourself! :)

Friday, January 29, 2010


by Meg Cabot

Jinx is the story of Jean Honeychurch who earned the nickname "Jinx" due to here incredibly bad luck. Whenever Jean's around things seem to go wrong. At the moment she was born there was a blackout in the hospital and some patients had to be flown to other hospitals. Jean is now moving in with her Aunt and Uncle and their three kids in New York City, because of an incident back home. Jean is looking forward to spending time with her cousin Tori, who is her age, but before long she realizes Tori is not the same person she remembers. Tori is up to something, but she's not the only one keeping secrets....

I liked this book because it's by Meg Cabot and her books are funny. However, Jinx is a bit naive and slow to figure things out which is kind of annoying. Also, there were some "witchy" elements to the story that I thought were a little too real-to-life to be portrayed positively. Not bad, but not my favorite.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

I read this book in less than an hour today when I was subbing (during the times I was without students).

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is the story of a child's china rabbit of the same name. While the rabbit's owner loves him very much, Edward is a proud, vain toy who cares nothing for anyone buy himself. All this changes one day when Edward is lost at sea. It is then when his journey truly begins. Edward finds himself passed from one pair of hands to another. And gradually, along the way, Edward learns to love. He goes through many trials and sorrows that cause him to want to harden his heart forever, but through the wisdom of others Edward learns to open his heart again.

This is really quite a beautiful story, however I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. For some children, parts of Edward's journey may be too frightening or upsetting. However, for many the messages of learning to keep hope, and never stop loving even through the direst of circumstances is a much needed one.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

Ah I'm having mixed feelings on this book too! I love the premise: mysterious maze, kids who've lost their memories, creepy creatures lurking in the dark, cryptic messages, etc. However, there were just a few things about it that I didn't love as much.

I thought the story developed a little too slowly over the pages of the book. The author revels very little of what's actually going on until the end, and even then many things are left unanswered (since this will be a series). However, I felt like the story developed too quickly over the time span of the novel. The entire book only encompasses a little over a week for the characters and it just seemed a little rushed.

My other complaint has to do with all the made-up words of the Gladers. They use a lot of words almost as if they are swear words, and some of them sound very close to actual swear words, with just the first letter different.

However, the ending was just chilling enough to make me really want to see where the next book goes. So I'll probably stick around for at least the next entry to this series.

The Maze Runner is the story of Thomas. He wakes up to find himself in an elevator going up, and that he remembers nothing of his past. All he can remember is his name. When the elevator stops, the top opens and Thomas is greeted by the faces of dozens of young boys, none much older than himself. He is in the Glade - a mysterious open area surrounded by giant stone walls. Outside the walls lies the maze, and as far as any of the Glades know, there is no way out.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Betraying Season

by Marissa Doyle

I'm really struggling with what to rate this book. I gave it's predecessor 4 stars, and I feel like I liked this one about equally, but I don't know if it quite falls under the "I really liked it" category. I'm torn, but sticking with 3. If I did halves, perhaps I'd go for 3 and a half.

Betraying Season is the sequel to Bewitching Season, which I read last year about this time (maybe I'm just not remembering it well!) The first book focused on twins Penelope and Persephone Leland, although the story mostly revolved around Persy. This time around, Pen gets to be the focus of the novel. Persy is newly married in England, so Pen decides to live in Ireland for a while with her former governess and her new husband. While she's there she's studying magic and hoping to become as skilled as her sister. However, things get a little more complicated when the handsome and dashing Niall Keating comes into her life. What she doesn't know is that Niall's mother is a powerful witch too, and she wishes to use Pen in her plot to kill the Queen.

I did feel that the regency elements and the magical elements blended together better in this story than in the previous book. One thing that annoyed me though was that they used the word "horripilatious" way too much.

This book is written in third person with an omniscient narrator. Sometimes the narrative is about Pen and sometimes about Niall. And since you're told what they are thinking and feeling there's really no suspense as to whether Niall is legit or not. I kind of think I would have liked it all to be from Pen's perspective so you were wondering what Lady Keating was up to and if Niall was telling the truth or not. Would have added some suspense that the book was lacking.