Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

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 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page (no spoilers)
  • Include title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists
"Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."
Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, it's windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
--Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling pg. 111

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Grimm Legacy

Title: The Grimm Legacy
Author: Polly Shulman
 Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication date: July 8, 2010
Rating: 3 Stars

Elizabeth has a new job at an unusual library— a lending library of objects, not books. In a secret room in the basement lies the Grimm Collection. That's where the librarians lock away powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White's stepmother's sinister mirror that talks in riddles.

When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth embarks on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before she can be accused of the crime—or captured by the thief.

This was a really cute book and I think middle grade children especially will enjoy it. I loved to magic of the repository. Imagine being able to borrow Abraham Lincoln's top hat or Jane Austen's quill or even Cinderella's Glass Slipper. The Grimm Legacy tells about the importance of objects and, for the Grimm objects, the magic they hold.

I loved every scene with the magic mirror. The rhyming was awesome and the mirror was so incredibly creepy, but in a good way. Elizabeth was not always the most interesting character but I liked the way she treated Anjal's sister. She never put her down and always treated her like an equal which was different than Anjal treated her. I found Marc to be boring and Anjali was not much better but Andrew on the other hand was more interesting, although he acted like kind of an idiot near the end.

So, at the beginning of this review I say that the book is cute and so far I have only criticized it but now I'll tell you why I enjoyed it. I loved the idea of the world of magic and fairy tales. I loved that the main character worked in a library of objects of history and magic. I loved being introduced to that world. Was this book fantastic? No, but it was fun, there are technicalities that I could point out but I won't. My mind has gotten too picky, that's why I recommend this for a younger audience. They will be able to look at this book and experience the magic that my mind wouldn't let me fully enjoy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday

It's another Follow Friday. Sorry I haven't been reviewing as much as I should. I've been reading more than ever but school does get in the way of reviewing especially when the computer's at school mess up the formatting when I try to post something. But I'm back now and I'll be reviewing many books that I meant to months ago. On to the question.....

Question: Summer Break is upon us What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

Here's the truth, I read to escape to somewhere else, to visit different countries and different worlds, heck, I read just to escape my state. If I went on a vacation it would mean I would actually be somewhere other than home and while I love my books I would be out exploring instead of reading. If I wanted to get reading done I would just stay at home. If I wanted to relax I would go to the lake.If I wanted to go on vacation it would be far away. My dream places are: England, Greece, Ireland, Germany, China, India, Brazil, Virginia, Washington D.C., California, and many many more places.

Cleopatra's Daughter

Title: Cleopatra's Daughter
Author: Michelle Moran
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: September 15, 2009
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s revengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome; only two– the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander–survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters: Octavia, the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra; Livia, Octavian's bitter and jealous wife; Marcellus, Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir apparent; Tiberius, Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power; and Juba, Octavian’s watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals. (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed reading this book, right from the first chapter I felt that it would be good and that does not happen to me often. There was so much historical detail and everything was described and explained, I felt like I had walked into Ancient Rome. Another great thing about this book is that the author did not shy away from the horrible and gruesome things that happened, that is one of the reasons this book felt so real. It also showed both the good and bad on each side. Even though the main character was Egyptian she did acknowledge that slaves were not treated any better in Egypt, she just had a different perspective now that she was in the power of an enemy in Rome. Likewise, Octavian was not always villainized, he did save some slaves from severe punishment for reason's only he knows.
The main storyline in Cleopatra's Daughter is supposed to be about The Red Eagle. That's where the mystery and excitement is supposed to come from but in my opinion it fell kind of flat. I'll be honest, the book is mainly just about day to day life for Selene and Alexander in Ancient Rome. Sometimes that did make it a little dull, I was hoping for more of a storyline but it was still an enjoyable and interesting read. The reason I read historical fiction is not only to be transported in time but also to learn. History is so exciting and interesting and there's so much of it that I don't know. Historical fictions are a way for me to learn without being bored to tears. I will definitely be checking out some of Michelle Moran's other books.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 My Answers:

What I'm currently reading? Much Ado About Nothing

What I recently finish? The Grimm Legacy

What I'll probably read next: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone