Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review: The World Above by Cameron Dokey

Cameron Dokey is the author of a "series" called Once Upon a Time. She takes well known fairy tales and retells them in a unique way. The World Above is a spin off of Jack and the Beanstalk. It also had a bit of Robin Hood in it, which I thought was clever. This quote is part of the little blurb page in the front of the book: "For better or worse, there was only going forward. There was only going up. Seizing the trunk of the beanstalk with both hands, I pushed off from the World Below and began to climb." Gen grew up with her twin brother, Jack, and their mother on a tiny farm. Their mother told them bedtime stories of the World Above, their real home. Gen never truly believed them, thinking they were just stories. But Jack believed. He believed that their father had been killed by Duke Guy and that their mother had escaped down a beanstalk to the World Below to save all their lives. He also believed that one day they would need to return and claim what was rightly their's. But Gen was always skeptical. She learns a lot about herself when the time comes to throw a magic bean over her shoulder and climb into the clouds to save her brother, and maybe a whole unknown land. I really enjoyed this book, and I have enjoyed all of Dokey's novels. They are clever and fun. 100% clean. It was a quick read (I read it in a day) and only 175 pages. I highly recommend this cute fairy tale.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review: Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

I've been interested in reading Peter and the Starcatchers for a while now because I knew it was based off of Peter Pan and, for those of you who don't know, I am a huge Peter Pan fan. I was really excited when my cousin got the book for Easter and said I could borrow it. For me it was a very quick read; it is considered a children's novel.

I really enjoyed this book. It ended up being almost like a prequel to Peter Pan. It follows Peter, an orphan, and his orphan buddies as they are put onto a ship, the Never Land, to become servants for an evil king in a far away country. Peter quickly notices young Molly on board the Never Land and they end up becoming friends. The story revolves around the protection of a very coveted trunk. Molly has to protect what is hidden in the trunk for her father and the world at any cost, including her life. Peter volunteers to help. The notorious pirate, Black Stache, hears of the treasure in the trunk and quickly tracks down the Never Land. Some "talking" porpoises and Mermaids are involved in this very fast-paced and captivating novel. I thought the story line was very creative and unique and I was very pleased with the way every thing tied together at the end.

BUT. Yes, there is a downside. This is considered a children's novel, but there were a few details and comments in the book that I did not think were appropriate for children. Most likely they went right over my cousin's head (he's eleven), but I was still disappointed that they were in the book at all. They were always unnecessary, so it was just annoying that they were in there. And, obviously, some people won't think it matters. So, I think that before you gift this book to your nephew or cousin, you should read through it first to see if you think it'd be alright for them. There are sequels to Peter and the Starcatchers, and I do intend to read them (and my cousin has already read two of them) so watch for more book reviews soon!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Boor Review": all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling

First off, if you haven't read these books yet, WHAT IS YOUR DEAL??? READ THEM NOW!!! K, glad we got that out of the way. :)
I started re-reading the HP series on April 30th, 2011. I finished today, May 25th, 2011. Definitely my favorite book series, and I have read a ton of series (plural?).

I posted some of my favorite HP quotes as my Facebook status as I read. I decided to put those statuses here as well, so here we go: (WARNING to those who have failed to read HP: Spoiler Alert!) (Also, sorry for my lack of citing. Giant pat on the back to those of you who can name which book each of these quotes comes from!)

‎"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."
April 30 at 10:07am

‎"To a well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." ~ Albus Dumbledore Just finished book 1!! (again...)
May 3 at 4:01pm

‎"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are." ~Albus Dumbledore (finished book 2!)
May 5 at 8:27pm

‎"And, grinning broadly at the look of horror on Uncle Vernon's face, Harry set off toward the station exit, Hedwig rattling along in front of him, for what looked like a much better summer than the last." book 3 - check. well, that should actually be around 15 checks....
May 8 at 4:53pm

"He had cake, and Dudley had nothing but grapefruit."
May 8 at 9:14pm

‎"Just then, Neville caused a slight diversion by turning into a large canary." slight?
May 10 at 9:38am

more words of wisdom from oh-so-wise Albus Dumbledore: "It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!" (708 of book 4 while chewing out dumbo Fudge). And now for some from my favorite half-giant: "What's comin' will come, an' we'll meet it when it does."
May 11 at 6:47pm

‎"And Hagrid was once again conspicuous only by his absence." J.K Rowling is the ultimate word-bender! I love it so much! :)
May 13 at 6:56pm

‎"Hermione," said Harry, shaking his head, "you're good on feelings and stuff, but you just don't understand about Quidditch."
May 15 at 7:30pm

‎"Weasley can save anything, He never leaves a single ring, That's why Gryffindors all sing: Weasley is our King!" Eat it, Slytherins!!! :)
May 16 at 3:21pm

‎"I expect what you're not aware of would fill several books, Dursley," growled Moody.
May 17 at 10:54am

"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure." (Dumbledore) :)
May 18 at 10:06am

my favorite line from the Harry Potter books: "...and a distraction arrived in the shape of Ginny." (pg. 242 of HP and the Half-Blood Prince)
May 18 at 9:47pm

‎"Harry was left to ponder in silence the depths to which girls would sink to get revenge." stupid Ron and Hermione. hurry up and realize how much you like each other! I'm getting sick of reading about Lavender... (also, this quote is an example of fantastic writing for so many reasons!)
May 19 at 8:09pm

‎"'He will only be gone from the school when none here are loyal to him,' said Harry, smiling in spite of himself." This is probably the saddest character death ever written.
May 20 at 5:00pm

‎"'[A] Ministry-loving, family-disowning, power-hungry moron,' said Fred.
Percy swallowed. 'Yes, I was!'"
stupid Percy.
Yesterday at 7:07pm

‎"The sun rose steadily over Hogwarts, and the Great Hall blazed with life and light...All around the walls, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts were giving him a standing ovation...'but at school he's Professor Longbottom, isn't he? I can't walk into Herbology and give him LOVE...'" I have finished the entire Harry Potter series - again. :) don't worry; FB won't be bombarded with HP quotes anymore. (sigh)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

this IS Cute

My adorable puppy, Murry, likes to "burrow" into things, especially beds. He burrowed into my sister's bed and stuck his head out the side. My brother asked my sister if she had placed Murry like that. She hadn't so we all sat there admiring the cuteness. Go ahead and say "AWWW!" :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Love to See the Temple

We had a very sunny Sunday a few weeks ago, and my family spent it walking around the Portland, Oregon LDS Temple grounds. The grounds are always gorgeous, but they are especially lovely during Spring. I took a bunch of pictures, here are a few of them:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We're going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...How about you, you, you?

I went to the Oregon Zoo a few weeks ago. I was so excited because I hadn't been to the zoo in a long time and it is one of my favorite places. Also, our zoo finally has lions! They didn't have them while I was growing up and we had a zoo pass, and then they got some a little over a year ago, and I still hadn't seen them! So this was a very exciting outing for me!
And the lions posed so nicely!