Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

Title: The Amaranth Enchantment
Author: Julie Berry
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: Worship
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Orphaned at age five, Lucinda, now fifteen, stands with courage against the man who took everything from her, aided by a thief, a clever goat, and a mysterious woman called the Witch of Amaranth, while the prince she knew as a child prepares to marry, unaware that he, too, is in danger.(King County Library)

Opinions:This is one of the best books I've read this year! I was hooked from the very first page. The flow of the writing is very smooth and seamless. The characters are well developed and you care about them. Even the characters that you feel certain you will despise the whole time, some of them you grow to love or at least sympathize with. I especially loved Lucinda. I thought she was a wonderfully developed and complex character. Though I have to admit my favorite character in the book was Dog. :)

I was uncertain about this book. I thought it looked interesting when I requested that my library purchase it, but sometimes books look interesting to me when I first see them and then the interest fades. (I have dozens of books on my shelves to prove it.) However, I couldn't put this book down.

I am excited to find a new author to follow. This is Juli Berry's first novel and I hope she writes many, many more! Read it. I'm absolutely sure you will love it!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Teen/Adult Historical Fiction
Rating: Love
Alerts/Warnings: Some disturbing images and thoughts related to WWII and its impact on individuals.
Premise: Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. (King County Library)

Opinions: Reading this book was an intriguing, emotional experience. This story is narrated by Death as he watches over a teenage girl experiencing life in WWII Germany. The point of view is fantastic and provides a fresh and interesting look at a story. Zusak does an incredible job making you fall in love with the characters of his story. The one difficulty that I had with this book was the time line - there was no straight line through the story. Death jumps around events as he recalls them - providing you a glimpse of something down the road and then backtracking to lead you to that point.

I would highly recommend this for adults. If your teenager wants to read this, or it is assigned in school, then I would recommend reading it with them so that you can talk through what happens in the story and discussing what happened to everyone involved with WWII to work through the disturbing incidents that did occur. This a fantastic read, just be prepared for the emotional tug that will happen as you read it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

So I just finished "Just One Wish" by Janette Rallison. This was by far my favorite book that she has written. It was wonderfully tender and sweet.

Annika is a seventeen year old girl who has a six year old brother who has a tumor growing on his brain. Annika is determined that he will survive the surgery and comes up with an idea to make go into the surgery with determination that all will come out alright. But her plan backfires and she then feels compelled to drive to Hollywood to try and get Steve Raleigh to come to her home town (four hours away) to meet with her brother. A highly entertaining series of events then occurs that left me laughing so hard I had to stop reading.

I thought this very sweet and tender book was wonderful. It explores kindness, determination and the purpose of life. It is perfectly clean and a wonderfully written. I highly recommend it to anyone. (Okay, so maybe boys wouldn't like it as much as girls would.)

4 of 5 stars