Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

Generally stories of the fire-breathing dragon, vampire, werewolf, flying horse, and evil wizard varieties.

September 12

Comments: 3

Review: Hannah (Daughters of the Sea, Book 1) by Kathryn Lasky

by Ann-Kat

Hannah Cover

Back Cover of Hannah

Hannah wants to be normal, but she’s not. The sea calls to her, and she can see a delicate tracing of scales on her legs. Billowing waves soothe her, but flat land makes her sick. She knows there’s something wild in her that’s different, wrong–and deeply thrilling.

Only one person seems to know who–or what–Hannah is. He’s a guest in the house where she works as a scullery girl, and his fascinated gaze follows her. She doesn’t understand his terrifying allure, or her longing. But even as the mystery deepens, Hannah is sure of one thing. A sea change is coming.

Three Quick Points About Hannah

  • Point 1: Deus ex machinas abound! Hannah’s problems were all too easily resolved.
  • Point 2: The intended audience must be precocious children or idyllic teens. In general, too superficial for an audience over 12 with words too laborious for an audience under 15.
  • Point 3: It’s the book equivalent of Chinese food.

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3 Comments, add yours...

February 19

Comments: 6

Review: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

by Ann-Kat

The Last Unicorn Cover

Back Cover of The Last Unicorn

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone…

…so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of the despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction.

Three Quick Points About The Last Unicorn

  • Point 1: Nature plays a large role. The textures, the aromas, and the sounds all center around the things that grow and thrive in nature; shifting from air to sea to fire to earth to metal, and sometimes intermingling.
  • Point 2: The unicorn is rather vain, but in such a way that her vanity seems justified. Throughout the text we’re reminded that the unicorn is the most beautiful creature, much of which is her own musing, and when she’s turned human, she’s incredibly distraught because she’s mortal and dying, and therefore no longer beautiful.
  • Point 3: This book is a musical without the sheet music. If anyone had any doubts that Mr. Beagle enjoys writing lyrics, hand them this book. Just about everyone sings something at some point, ranging from the silly and nonsensical to the melancholy.

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6 Comments, add yours...

February 2

Comments: 7

Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

by Ann-Kat

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Back Cover of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

Fitzgerald’s talent for short fiction is on display in this selection of four of his finest tales, chosen from two collections: Flappers and Philosophers (1920) and Tales of the Jazz Age (1922). Included are “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a fantasy whose protagonist is born an old man and ages in reverse; “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” a coming-of-age story about a daring young flapper; “The Jelly-Bean,” a story of disillusionment and love lost; and “Dalyrimple Goes Wrong,” a case of a character torn between self and society.

Three Quick Points About The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Tales of the Jazz Age

  • Point 1: Another era. Not gonna lie, Fitzgerald’s language caught me off guard a couple of times, but it certainly reminded that he was writing in another era.
  • Point 2: Life can be frustrating. It seems that your time line doesn’t matter, you’ll still come up against obstacles; they’ll only be slightly different.
  • Point 3: Sad. That’s what I felt when the story of Benjamin Button ended.

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7 Comments, add yours...

January 9

Comments: 10

Review: I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

by Ann-Kat

I Heart You, You Haunt Me Cover

Back Cover of I Heart You, You Haunt Me

Girl meets boy.

Girl loses boy.

Girl gets boy back…

…sort of.

Ava can’t see or touch him, unless she’s dreaming. She can’t hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she’s crazy, but she knows he’s here.

Jackson. The boy Ava thought she’s spend the rest of her life with. He’s back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.

Three Quick Points About I Heart You, You Haunt Me

  • Point 1: It’s really written in verse. OK, I read that it was a verse novel, but I really didn’t know what to expect and true enough, the entire novel, all 200+ pages of it, is one long continuous verse.
  • Point 2: So he’s a poltergeist? Sort of. Let me be upfront here and say I expected a creepier haunting (it’s filed under “Spine-Chilling Horror” at Amazon) and it was anything but. Overall though I couldn’t complain.
  • Point 3: Short story in book form. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but once I finished the book, I realized it could easily be translated into a short story.

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10 Comments, add yours...

January 2

Comments: 16

Review: Uninvited by Amanda Marrone

by Ann-Kat

Uninvited by Lisa Marrone

Back Cover of Uninvited

When rejection comes back to bite you…

Jordan’s life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can’t understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life — once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn’t relate to — now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words….

Three Quick Points About Uninvited

  • Point 1: This book reads like the anti-Twilight. The characters are shallow and the plot is paper thin. The difference is, rather than a clean cut honor student being completely enamoured by the new vampire who’s been stalking her, it’s the story of a constantly drunk honor student wishing she weren’t being stalked by the new vampire.
  • Point 2: Redefines the term “lush life.” Everyone is drunk and high (except maybe the parents, but I can’t be certain) throughout most of the book. It became redundant.
  • Point 3: Jordan needs a lot of therapy or to develop an actual personality. I really wanted to like Jordan’s character, but didn’t. Throughout the book, we’re trapped inside her head while she complains about every facet of her life (and it feels as though the air is slipping away fast). In the end, she turns over a new leaf, sort of, but never quite redeems herself.

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16 Comments, add yours...

 

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