Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner


As the French Revolution descends into nightmare, Yann Margoza, a mysterious and extraordinary practitioner of magic, uses his skills to help spirit refugees out of France. If he fails, their fates lie under the blade of the guillotine. But the question of Yann's true identity and the kidnapping of his true love, Sido, expose him to dangers that threaten to destroy him. With Paris on the verge of collapse, Yann must summon all his strength and courage to rescue his beloved Sido and outwit the devil's own--this time for good.

Number of pages: 362


My dear Sally Gardner has done it again with this amazing and extremely vivid telling of the French Revolution. Last time we left Yann and Sido to those times of Terror, Sido was safely deposited in England while Yann used his super duper gypsy powers to smuggle all kinds of people from the bloody lands of France into England. So it seems Yann has a secret reputation as the Silver Blade, but he doesn’t take much notice after mooning over Miss Sido who it seems isn’t answering his latest letter. Of course many of the original characters are in this new story. It really does complete the story of Yann and Sido. I was really excited to read it, though I find it hard to say which book is better The Red Necklace or The Silver Blade. Very tough decision indeed.

You do need a good attention span, though, because there is a very good chance that you might get lost a bit. There are so many twits and turns in this novel, and while those are what make a good story, there are times where getting “lost” in a story might not be a good thing.

The history part was very interesting. I can’t say that I know much of the French Revolution, but from what I read here I think it was accurate. It was really intriguing especially about how people escaped the country. The measures they took were incredible. But hey, to find out the tricked their way out, you’ll just have to read the book. So taking all that into consideration . . . from 1-10? I give The Silver Blade a 6.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap


For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?

Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life—and love story—of Russia’s last princess.

Number of pages: 327


Here is a good dose of historical fiction for you. I find that writing about a historic event or time isn’t as hard as writing about a person in history, I mean, what have you got to work with? What has been known about the person? Rumors of what could have happened in their lives? And then to write about that person in first person, to write the feelings that they might have had or their thoughts on this or that subject. I would think it takes more than a bit of imaginations and common sense to fill in the blanks. And then to make it interesting! I’d say that’s no small job! So what’s that got to say about Susanne Dunlap’s book Anastasia’s Secret? She nailed the facts and history part. It was informative, but definitely not boring. it was funny because a week after I finished the book, I was in history class when we started to learn about World War I and how the Russians affected a great deal of the events. I had already learned basically everything from this book. It talked a great deal about the conditions of the poor, and how bad the army was going into the war by sending in really you boys to fight when most had never even worn a pair of shoes before—which is where Sasha comes in.

I really loved taking a look through Anastasia’s eyes. The book tells her story from a little girl with a curiosity that may not be all that favorable to a Grand Duchess, up until her time as a young woman in the fate of those who wish harm on her, and her loved ones. So maybe it’s not the traditional way most thought of the youngest grand duchess, but I think it is a new refreshing way to look at her life story. It gives Grand Duchess Anastasia, who I always thought of as a rich girl with an unfortunate life, personality and depth. From 1-10? Anastasia’s Secret gets a 6.5

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder


Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can’t sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca died a year ago, and now their friend Gabe has died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there, waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca chasing her through her dreams.

Nico can’t stop. He’s always running, trying so hard not to feel the pain of missing Lucca. But when he begins receiving messages from his dead brother, telling him to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Number of Pages: 412


First thing that I want to point out to you all is that this entire story is in the form of poetry. If there is one thing that bothers me is that when you read about how great a book is online, and you get it only to find that the book you ordered is in a completely different form than what you thought! Like getting for instance—I don’t know—a comic book (yes that has actually happened to me, you can imagine my disappointment). So when I read online about this really touching story of two grieving teenagers, and get it only to find that it isn’t a novel, but a bunch of poems, I thought of the comic book incident and got mad. But after my first initial feeling of annoyance, I figured I should give this book a try. I was impressed. This was the first poetry story that I read, and I liked it so much that it is most likely that it will not be the last. So I am giving you this information up front so that no one gets surprised. But I also want you to consider doing something new and maybe choose this story to read. Nico and Brooklyn are both grieving, both confused, and both being haunted, but by different spirits. Brooklyn is being full out haunted with nightmares, and sleepless nights by her friend, Gabe. Nico on the other hand isn’t being haunted so much, more like getting messages from his brother pushing him a bit to help the girlfriend he left behind, Brooklyn.

I loved the way poems keep everything honest, straight to the point. But if you are going to write a story completely created from poems, then it has to be done right. Chasing Brooklyn was done right. If the first poetry book I read was poorly created I can guarantee that I would be extremely hesitant to read another one. This book was sweet, sad, hopeful, and so many more emotions that connect the dots of these two people and their steps of letting go and finding love and comfort in one another. From 1-10? I am proud to give this book an 8.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coming Soon

Hellooo there people! Ok, I realize I am EXTREMELY behind on my posts . . . sorry about that. Who would think that school took up so much time? Well, it does -.- and not to mention that I have this problem with reading a book, and jumping to the next before I can write my thoughts down (or time to breathe). I really shouldn't do that, but here are some book that I have read recently, currently reading, or planning on reading in the next, ooooh I'd say, week or so.

  1. A Map of the Unknown World by Lisa Ann Sandell
  2. Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
  3. The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
  4. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  5. The Silver Blade by Sally Gardner
  6. Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
  7. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
  8. I am Remembrant's Daughter by Lynn Cullen
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Now that I have it written down I feel the need to speed things up a bit so expect these soon. Time to get down to the books!