Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--another Dessen

Up for today: ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen by Vette R Awesome

Why I bought it? For those of you who have been following my book reviews you know that Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite YA authors. There's just something about her storytelling that sucks me in and won't let go, so I've been eagerly awaiting this book. It just came out in June, and I ran by the Barnes and Noble and picked it up. 

Synopsis: Auden has grown up as a mini-adult. Always responsible. Always studious. When her parents divorced she started having trouble going to sleep. As a result she stays up into the wee hours of the morning. In the summer after her senior year she goes to stay with her father and step-mother in the small beach town where they live before going off to college. She finds a guy there who also can't sleep. He helps her start a quest to experience some of the things she missed in her childhood. 

What I thought? As always it was well written. Dessen is a master of literary commercial YA. She makes the story fun and tells it in such a way that it is hard to put down, but there is a depth to what she tells that reaches in and grabs you--makes you think and feel. This one did not disappoint. I wouldn't say it was my favorite, but it was still very good. Also it was fun to revisit a few old friends and places. If you're not familiar with Dessen's writing she always has some sort of cameo of characters and places from earlier novels. It's not necessary to have read those novels to enjoy this book.

My Rating: ****1/2

Cleanness Score:  4 out of 10. There was a little language, but not much. I've found that her books have gotten cleaner as they've gone. Her earlier novels seems to have more language, etc. than the later ones. There is fighting/arguing/family discord and references to hooking up (you don't really have the descriptions of what specifically happens). 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Banging the Bowl

This morning my alarm was a banging metal bowl. In my dream it sounded as a gong a few times before I realized what it was. We have family visiting and I thought someone was playing around being loud. I went to the kitchen to ask whoever it was to quit playing around and making so much noise and lo and behold... It was my 14 year old daughter (who loves sleeping in) making pancakes for everyone. She woke up before she was called. Before me. Bless her heart! To serve the family. My heart just swells. Sometimes your kids surprise you. Sometimes you get to see that they are growing up. Sometimes they humble you. It is a wonderful thing! 

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--Will the real princess please stand up?

Up for today:   PALACE OF MIRRORS by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix: Book Cover

Why I bought it? My daughter and I were book shopping and I thought she might enjoy it. I like Haddix. I especially enjoyed her "Among the Hidden" series. This is sort of a sequel to Just Ella but not really. Ella is in it eventually. I had enjoyed that book too, so I thought it could be a fun read for me as well.

Synopsis:  Cecilia is a princess in hiding. A knight comes and gives her classes in ruling and Latin, etc. Desmia, a commoner is in the palace as a decoy to keep her safe from those who killed her parents. When someone shows up in her little village to capture her she escapes with her best friend, Harper, and goes to reclaim her crown. Will Desmia be glad to just step aside and give Cecilia her crown?

What I thought? In pure Haddix style there are some major twists. I knew she liked to do this and was completely surprised anyway. It was a fun read especially because of the twists. I really enjoyed the role that Ella played when she showed up. It's not your standard Princess story. If you liked Just Ella you will like this too. (You don't have to have read it to follow the story, but it does help you enjoy Ella's role more.)

My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5

Cleanness Score: 2 out of 10, Other than her being pretty dirty most of the book, it is a clean read. Heehee! I can't remember any language and the 2 is for situational things that little kids might not get and a bit of violence. Nothing bad though. It seems more MG than YA, but I think your YAs would really enjoy it. I did.