Friday, December 19, 2014

Book review: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed.

It all starts when Mary Poppins is blown by the east wind onto the doorstep of the Banks house. She becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane, Michael, and the twins. Who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, pull an entire armchair out of an empty carpetbag, and make a dose of medicine taste like delicious lime-juice cordial? A day with Mary Poppins is a day of magic and make-believe come to life!



I'm not sure how I got to be 25 years old without reading Mary Poppins. But after seeing Saving Mr. Banks, I wanted to read the original story.

The original Mary Poppins is not the Mary Poppins of the classic Disney movie, that's for sure. It's hard to treat the story as the original since I've seen Mary Poppins as the movie character as long as I can remember.

But Mary Poppins the original is more stern. She's vain. She has no time for your nonsense.

Still, the story manages to be just as magical as the movie, maybe even more so since book-Mary isn't really likeable, but makes every day incredible.

Some scenes from the movie are straight from the book, but I have a feeling the movie has some invented scenes or stole scenes from books later in the books. I don't intend to read more of the series now, but maybe someday when there are small children in my life, I will read it to them.

It's not the most entertaining children's book to read as an adult, but I had fun reading it and comparing it to my memory of the movie. So, if you're curious too, it's worth a read!

Have any of you read Mary Poppins? What did you think?








_________________________________________________________________________________



 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps68f37922.jpg

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book review: We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


I'm not sure there is anything new to say about this book. It's been talked and written about so much since it hit shelves last May. But, just in case you haven't heard of it yet, here are my thoughts.

I've read E. Lockhart's work before, but didn't realize it until after I read We Were Liars -- none of her other work has stuck out to me. But this book was everywhere this year, so I put my name on the list for it at the library and waited behind more than ten people.

It's a short, quick read. It focuses on the teenage children of some very well-off New Englanders and their relationships as they grow and change during summers shared on the family island (yup, family island -- I told you they were well-off). They call themselves the Liars. The narrator, Cadence, suffered an injury a couple summers before the telling of the book that caused her amnesia, and she spends her summer trying to unravel the truth behind her injury and trying to discover what her family isn't telling her.

While the circumstances of these teens' lives make them difficult to relate to (again, family island), most of the emotions in the book were familiar to me.

I shot through this book -- it's only a couple hundred pages and easy to read. And then I wanted to read it again immediately. I didn't (because I only had it for a couple more days from the library) but I will want to reread this one eventually. When Cadence finally figures out what her family isn't telling her, it leaves you wanting to go back through to see if you can pick up the clues she was missing.

The hype on this book is HUGE -- and I think this might be a case where it does the book a disservice -- hard to not be looking for the twists, and hard to live up to the hype. But it was a good book, and I recommend it! I gave it three stars.

Have any of you read We Were Liars? What did you think?






_________________________________________________________________________________



 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps68f37922.jpg

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book review: Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.


Shiver was an experiment for me. Forever and ever ago, I tried to read Shiver on audio and hated it. I quit reading more than halfway through the book because the characters finally annoyed me so much. A while later though, I read and loved The Scorpio Races and, when I went on Goodreads, realized they were by the same author. 

Um, what? 

So I decided to give Shiver another try, but this time actually reading it rather than listening to it.

Shiver still isn't my favorite book, and I still don't love the characters, but I enjoyed it much more when I read it. Shiver is magical realism -- everything in the world is the same as our world... except the tiny little thing of the main character, Grace, falling in love with a werewolf. 

It's definitely the story line that kept me going, rather than attachment to the characters, but I'll probably finish out the series. I gave Shiver three stars.

Have any of you read (or listened to) Shiver? What did you think?






_________________________________________________________________________________



 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps68f37922.jpg

Friday, November 28, 2014

Book review: Stardust

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.


Either at the very end of high school or the very beginning of college, I watched a movie called Stardust with two of my best friends from high school. We knew little about the movie except that it was a fairy tale for grown ups. I think we didn't love it initially, but then we watched the bloopers, and then we loved it.

Fast forward many years and I discovered Stardust the movie was based off Stardust the book, which was written by Neil Gaiman, an author I'd heard loads about but whose work I'd never read.

Gaiman does an amazing job leading you through a world where you slowly notice more and more magic. The book truly feels mystical and magical and brings you into its world.

I loved Stardust the book. The movie followed the storyline of the book pretty well, so there weren't a lot of surprises (until the end, at least -- it's a bit different), but the book was (as most books are) so much more emotional and heartfelt. I loved it. 

If you're interested in trying audio, the author narrates this one himself and it is exceptionally well done. Highly recommended! I gave it four stars.

Have any of you read (or watched) Stardust? What did you think?





_________________________________________________________________________________



 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps68f37922.jpg

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Add me on Goodreads!

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming...

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.


I heard a LOT of wonderful things about this book before picking it up and it didn't disappoint. 

Conor is a young kid dealing with a really tough situation. As he's struggling to just make it through every day life, a monster starts appearing. It incites him to do some awful things and then disappears, leaving Conor both with the consequences and wondering if the monster is even real.

I don't want to say too much, because if this book hasn't been spoiled for you, I don't want to be the one who does. But it was very well written, very emotional, and something I think a lot of kids could relate to.

If you're interested in trying audio, this one is narrated by the man who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies and it is very well done.

Have any of you read A Monster Calls? What did you think?





_________________________________________________________________________________



 photo PicMonkeyCollage_zps68f37922.jpg

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...