Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time

Up for today we have The Tales of Beedle the Bard  by JK Rowling and All-American Girl by Meg Cabot


Why I bought this? It's by JK Rowling, and I need no other reason to plunk down whatever amount of money she demands. Plus the proceeds of this go to charity. I got it for my daughter for Christmas. We had been eagerly awaiting its release.

Synopsis: It is the translation of five witch "fairy" tales, as translated by Hermione Granger. There are commentaries by Albus Dumbledore and an introduction and notes by JK Rowling. I don't want to give away the plots of the tales and have this be a spoiler. Let me just give you the names of the 5 tales. They will whet your appetite if you're a Harry Potter fan.  They are:  1) "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," 2) "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," 3) "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," 4) "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump," and 5) "The Tale of the Three Brothers."

What I thought? The book is clever and funny and engaging just as you would expect from JK Rowling. I LOVED it! I even liked the paper the book was printed on. It felt so smooth and papery--but I digress.  Some of the tales were a bit gruesome like the Brothers Grimm Tales--just so you are forewarned. My favorite parts though were the commentaries by Professor Dumbledore and the footnotes. So much of that is tongue in cheek or told with a secret twinkle in the eye. I think that, if you haven't read the Harry Potter books, a lot of what makes this fun will be lost on you. If you are a fan of HP you will enjoy this latest addition to the HP world.

My daughter's rating: *****  She was insisting that I give it six, but I couldn't shatter my rating system like that.
My rating:  *****

CS: 3  There are no swear words that I noticed, but as I said before some of the stories are a bit gruesome. 


Why I bought it? I have a weakness for Meg Cabot's quirky, fun writing style. I thought this would be one my daughter could enjoy. I was trying to find one that would fit the bill.

Synopsis:  Samantha (Sam) Madison accidentally, sort of, saves the president's life and finds herself trying to decide if she really likes her sister's boyfriend like she always has or if she is falling for the president's son.

What I thought? I really enjoyed this story.  Sam is an endearing main character. The romance intrigue that develops is entertaining. Cabot is a master at that. No wonder she's sold so many books. Some of the references are dated (like Sam loving Gwen Stefani and wanting to be like her), but it was published in 2002. My daughter overlooked that, since she is not a Stefani fan, and liked the book anyway. There has been some controversy over whether this will be made into a movie by Disney or not. It would make a great movie, but there have already been some with a similar storyline made--not that this will stop anyone.

My daughter's rating:  ****
My rating:  ****

CS: 4  It's got a little language and some situational stuff, but there was nothing really "offensive" in this one. 


Lady Glamis said...

I can't wait to read the Bard book! And I think I'll buy it now that I know it has cool paper, hehe!

lotusgirl said...

The paper is the best. I kept feeling while I was reading. I swear I don't normally do that.

beth said...

I LOVED JKR's new book, much better than the other supplemental books (although, tbh, I didn't really notice the paper at all! and I normally do that!)

Argh! The class bell just rang! I'm coming back to make more comments!

JaneyV said...

I have The Tales of Beedle Bard and I will try to read it soon. I too love the paper and I give JKR's publishers full marks for making it such a lovely experience to hold. Don't you think the pocket book size is wonderful too?

I haven't read any Meg Cabot (I know!) but my daughter's a real fan of The Princess Diaries. I love her YouTube videos on how to write - very informative and with tiaras.

lotusgirl said...

Haha! I'll have to check out the YouTube videos. They sound funny.

and yes, I love the pocket book size. I had it in my pocket book day before yesterday and it fit perfectly.

Alexa said...

Both those sounds excellent. I love Harry Potter and I just discovered Meg last year, so far I've only read the Mediator series but it was great.

beth said...

Ok, sorry for the delay! My planning period ended much too soon and unexpectedly :)

About Beedle the Bard:
I loved loved loved how the stories were all a little dark. My favorite one was about the fountain because of the very last sentence (I don't want to spoil it for anyone). But I did find the entire thing very charming...and I really liked the illustrations, too.

Haven't read the other one yet!

peace, love, and rock&roll said...

To add to what Beth ^ said, the fountain fairy tale was my favorite too, the last line was amazing, and I, too, enjoyed the darker side of the stories. I'm a huge fan of the macabre in stories/novels/any written material.

And Aunt Lois, I LOVED this book! I read it in about 45 minutes and then went back and read it all over again! And I didn't need any more convincing than you did to buy it either; JKR's name was enough. I was sold! :)

lotusgirl said...

alexa, I really enjoyed the mediator series too. Jesse was one of my favorite leading men this year.

beth, That's a great one, and the last line is perfect!

alyssa, I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I'm a fan of the macabre too--those crazy synching brains again. It's interesting to see which was your favorite, and seriously, you can't go wrong with JKR.