Friday, December 2, 2016
Genre: Graphic novel, Paranormal, family, illness, middle grade
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my first Raina Telgemeier book! My students have been reading Smile, Sisters, and Drama for a few years and they insisted that I read this one. In it, Cat's family has just moved to Northern California due to her sister's illness. Maya has cystic fibrosis, which affects her lungs and makes it difficult to breathe as her lungs slowly degenerate. Their move is supposed to help Maya breathe easier and have a fuller life. Cat isn't happy about the move, even though she loves her sister. Upon arriving, they're introduced to the town's infatuation with Dia' de los Muertos and the celebration they throw to invite the ghosts back. Cat is terrified, especially when an adventure to find the ghosts in early September leaves Maya in the hospital. Maya, though, is as infatuated with the ghosts as they seem to be with her, even as Cat tries desperately to keep them all away.
I liked the idea that both Cat and Maya are coming to terms with the fact that Maya will die. Cystic Fibrosis is a terminal illness and it means that Maya 's lung don't get better, they continue to get worse. Maya is a little girl and she wants to talk with the ghosts so she can understand what will be coming for her in the future. Cat wants them to stay away because she knows she can't protect her sister from death, try as she might. Don't worry--this book ends on a happy note and the only death is the visiting ghosts on Dia' de los Muertos.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Mass
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
I just finished reading two of Sarah J. Maas's books. I have been meaning to give them a try and finally did. My dad gave me the entire set of Throne of Glass to put in my classroom after he read them. It's been waiting for me to read it and determine its appropriateness--I have determined it is not so appropriate for a 6th grade audience. Although it's the first in a series, I'm not really interested in reading more about Celaena. I had an okay time reading the story, but there were lots of lagging moments for me and I only managed to get through it because we were on a long car ride over Thanksgiving. The mystery wasn't really so mysterious and because I was aware that there are multiple books in the series, it was easy to surmise that she made it through the trials to become the King's Assassin. So I won't be reading any more of the series and will most likely donate them to our public library. I really have little interest in finding out about the love triangle that has formed between Celaena, Dorian, and Chaol.
Sarah J. Maas
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Now, I've been interested in reading A Court of Thorns and Roses because I was really interested in how Sarah J. Maas formed this story as a Beauty and The Beast story.
The story was interesting and I wanted to see how things played out. The Evil Fairie Queen was an good twist to the story. However, I wasn't a fan of her relationship with Tamlin because I don't trust it. Even now, after finishing it, I don't trust it (maybe there will be reason in the next book, but I'm not going there). Tamlin is controlling and I did not like the scene that took place the night of the The Great Rite. The violence that made to seem sensual and enticing made me not only distrust Tamlin for the rest of the book, but also question Feyre's feelings for him. How manipulated has she become.
Then when they go Under the Mountain and she becomes Rhysand's toy, it was nauseating. I finished it. But I won't be reading on. I hate triangles and the next book will become this struggle that Feyre must choose between two men and one is "good" and the other is "bad" and what can she do?
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Star Wars Jedi Academy: A New Class
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Genre: Sci Fi, Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Star Wars
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Star Wars Jedi Academy is back with a new group of students. Jarrett J. Krosoczka introduces us to Victor Starspeeder, a padawan who has had some trouble at his current academy and is being transferred to another school where they can handle his...abilities. Luckily (?) his older sister is there to help (?) him out. But not only will Victor need to learn to control the Force, he'll also need to figure out how to handle his new classmates. If he can't hack it, he'll be kicked out of the Jedi Academy.
Although we're with a new group of students, the story is similar to that of Roan's in the previous three books. Victor is a bit of a mess and makes mistakes pretty constantly when he first arrives on campus. It takes him awhile to figure everything out. He's also infatuated with one of his new classmates and tries endlessly to impress her--without much luck.
This was a fun read and readers of the original three Jedi Academy books by Jeffery Brown will enjoy it. The story isn't as interesting, though, and I found myself wishing I could hear more about Roan. I missed him.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Little, Brown and Company, 2015
Source: purchased on Kindle
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
In Court of Fives the obstacles are intense. Jessamy has always wanted to run The Fives and found the perfect time to sneak out and secretly do it. Just once. Until her father returns home earlier than expand her chances may be ruined. Unless she can do it without anyone finding out. If the truth was revealed that she ran the Fives it could mean her father's job, her mother's semi-acceptance in society, and her sisters' livelihoods at stake. Yet Jessamy can't resist the pull of the Fives.
There is a lot of action and suspense in Court of Fives as Jessamy not only runs complex Ninja Warrior like obstacle courses, but navigates the Patron world in which she only halfway belongs. Jessamy's father is a Patron, a member of the elite class and a commander in the army. Her mother is Efean born, a Commoner, and not allowed to marry her father. Yet after twenty years he has remained faithful to her, even after four girls were born and no male. Jessamy is caught between the two worlds, not really able to be a part of either.
Her love interest is only somewhat interesting. I mostly felt like Kal was a puppy dog following her around. He's a prince and a bit whiny about it, wanting to run The Fives instead.
There is a lot of world and history building to help explain customs. Maybe some of it becomes more important in the second book, but it seemed pretty heavy. Plus most of the names in the Patron class are complicated and similar. So when they're referred to later on it's hard to remember who that was. Is it important? Maybe, but not to the degree spent on it.
Despite all the building, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the second one soon.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Saturday, October 8, 2016
But here's the good part: You stayed up late to finish your book and no one interrupted you. You were able to pace back and forth when you needed to do so and you could snack on those twizzlers you had stashed away for stress eating situations.
You found yourself short of breath several times and anxious for the characters you're now considering your friends. And finally you found out what happened, how your friends survived (hopefully), and if they'll be okay. Even though you crawled into bed at 3:00am in an attempt to catch 2 hours of sleep, you crawled into bed happy and content. Your heart felt warm and glowing, like the words you read seeped from the pages of the book and into your veins. Coursing through your, they filled you with nutrients you never knew you needed and when they finally reached your heart, it filled with warmth.
So enjoy your late night reading, but maybe don't do it every night.