Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Title: The Wednesday Wars
Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in." (King County Library System)
Opinions: We just read this book this week for book club and I have to say that I LOVED IT!!!! I love the humor and the emotion that comes from Holling, a seventh grader on Long Island, as he learns to deal with the struggles of life, along with the impacts of the Vietnam War on those around him, through studying the works of Shakespeare. I love his English teacher Mrs. Baker - she is one of my favorite characters of all time. I love the relationship that she and Holling build over the school year and the strength they gain from each other. I just have to say that personally I did not like Holling's father at all, but I think that was intentionally written that way by the author. All of the characters feel so real, like you would have known them personally. The storyline is fascinating and it was really hard to put the book down when I got into it. I especially love Holling's comments on Shakespeare and the characters within his plays. In my opinion, this book is a definite MUST READ.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pirate King by Laurie R. King

To read my review of the first book in the Mary Russell series please click here: The Beekeeper's Apprentice.

Title: Pirate King (Book 11 Mary Russell series)
Author: Laurie R. King
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Mystery
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: Sent to Lisbon and Morocco, where a British studio is creating a silent film version of "The Pirates of Penzance," Mary Russell investigates a series of crimes targeting the production and confronts a high-stakes situation when actual pirates orchestrate a hostage situation. "As Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark on their 11th adventure together, they find themselves immersed in the world of silent filmmaking. Here, the pirates are real-- and unlike the shooting done with a camera, this sort can be deadly" -- from publisher's web site.
Opinions: I LOVE/ADORE the Mary Russell series by Laurie King. So I was ecstatic to find that a new book was released last month. As soon as I could I went ahead and purchased it, eager to delve into its pages as soon as possible. At first I was confused by the concept of this story, but the longer I remained reading the more I fell into the fun of it. This was not quite typical to the rest of the series (even Mary Russell admits to this in the beginning of the book). But I love seeing Mary challenged in new areas and stretched in new ways as she works within a moving picture company to investigate some suspicious actions and the disappearance of the company's original assistant. I also love the intrigue of a story set in Portugal and Morocco and the idea of crossing paths with pirates. So as an ardent lover of this series I highly recommend that if you love Sherlock Holmes and mystery books than please rush to your nearest library or book store and begin the fun journey as your follow Mary Russell from one mystery to another.