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Saturday, April 30, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

TITLE: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
SERIES: Book #3.5 of The Twilight Series
AUTHOR: Stephenie Meyer
NARRATOR:
Emma Galvin
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
DATE OF PUBLICATION: June 5, 2010
FORMAT: Unabridged WMA Audiobook (4 hours, 9 minutes)
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
ISBN: 978-0307746825

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

MY REVIEW:

This is an Eclipse novella.

Bree was a very minor character in Eclipse, and I did not really find her particularly interesting. I thought the first half of the book was boring, and it was not until the second half when the newborn army was preparing for the upcoming battle that I started getting into it. It does add another dimension to the story, so I think that most Twilight fans will probably choose to read it.

I wasn't crazy about the narrator, Emma Galvin. This is my first experience with her, and I did not really enjoy her reading.

MY RATING: 3 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#28 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#18 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#18 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#12 for my What an Animal Reading Challenge IV 
#5 for my 2011 YA Reading Challenge
#5 for my Vampire Challenge 2011
#4 for my Banned Books Perpetual Challenge

Monday, April 25, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Ramona the Pest

TITLE: Ramona the Pest
SERIES: Book #2 in the Ramona Quimby series
AUTHOR: Beverly Cleary
PUBLISHER: Yearling
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 15, 1982 (first published 1968)
FORMAT: Paperback, 192 pages
GENRE: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 978-0440472094

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

This is the second title in the hugely popular series about Ramona Quimby. Ramona doesn't think she's a pest - she knows that she isn't a pest on purpose. So how in the world does Ramona get in trouble? Why does Davy run away whenever Ramona comes near him? And how does she manage to disrupt the whole kindergarten class during their rest time? Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors and has won many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

MY REVIEW:

I read this book aloud to my daughters.

We loved it! Who doesn't love Ramona? I loved reading this series when I was a kid, and I am enjoying reading it again with my girls. We are making great memories snuggling on the couch and laughing together!!

We will be continuing on in the series!

MY RATING: 4.5 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#27 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#3 for my 2nd Challenge 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Breaking Dawn


TITLE: Breaking Dawn
SERIES: Book #4 of The Twilight Saga
AUTHOR: Stephenie Meyer
NARRATOR: Ilyana Kadushin and Matt Walters
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
DATE OF PUBLICATION: August 9, 2008
FORMAT: Unabridged OverDrive WMA Audiobook (20 hours, 28 minutes)
GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0739367681

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS: 

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for... 

Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

MY REVIEW:

This is the fourth and final book in The Twilight Saga.

It was bittersweet: I hated for the book to end, but I also couldn’t wait for it to end to find out what happens. This series has opened up two genres for me: vampires/paranormal and Young Adult. I will definitely be scouring the Scholastic TRC catalogs for more reading material!

I have been doing a lot of googling on “If you loved Twilight, you’ll love...” I am making a list of the recommendations.

I hate to say it, but I think this series spoiled me. This is, by far and away, the BEST series that I have read. Then again, I would have to put the Harry Potter series up there as well (even though I haven't finished it yet). So, I guess this series is my top favourite, tied with Harry Potter.

It looks like the book will be split into a two-part movie (à la Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), with Part 1 being released in Nov 2011. I hope the movie can do the book justice!

I like that Meyers left herself with lots of different avenues to pursue if she intends to write a spin-off series. She said on her website that she wanted to "take a break" from vampires, so it will be interesting to see whether she does anything else with this. I hope so! There are lots of possibilities!!

Ilyana Kadushin was great as narrator.

MY RATING: 5 stars!!

This book qualifies as:
#26 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#17 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#17 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#11 for my What an Animal Reading Challenge IV   
#4 for my 2011 YA Reading Challenge
#4 for my Vampire Challenge 2011
#4 for my 101 Fantasy Perpetual Reading Challenge (Item #11)
#3 for my Shifter Challenge 2011
#5 for my Banned Books Perpetual Challenge

Monday, April 18, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Eclipse

TITLE: Eclipse
SERIES: Book #3 of The Twilight Saga
AUTHOR: Stephenie Meyer
NARRATOR: Ilyana Kadushin
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
DATE OF PUBLICATION: September 25, 2007
FORMAT: Unabridged OverDrive WMA Audiobook (16 hours, 25 minutes)
GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0739361009

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS: 

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour the paperback edition Eclipse, the third book in Stephenie Meyer's riveting vampire love saga. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob —- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But 
which is which?

MY REVIEW:

This is the third book in The Twilight Saga.

Loved it! This one might be my favourite one yet! I loved the
Edward/Bella/Jacob dynamic. I have now fallen on the “Team Jacob” side.

I was blubbering as I listened to the last third of the book. I was a mess by the time I got to work, and I had to compose myself and shut off the iPod. Have you ever tried to put on waterproof mascara when you are crying? It is futile. My heart broke.

I'm so glad that Ilyana Kadushin has narrated throughout.

MY RATING: 5 stars!!

This book qualifies as:
#25 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#16 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#16 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#10 for my What an Animal Reading Challenge IV 
#3 for my 2011 YA Reading Challenge
#3 for my Vampire Challenge 2011
#3 for my 101 Fantasy Perpetual Reading Challenge (Item #9)
#2 for my Shifter Challenge 2011
#3 for my Banned Books Perpetual Challenge

Sunday, April 10, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: A Bear Named Trouble


TITLE: A Bear Named Trouble
AUTHOR: Marion Dane Bauer
PUBLISHER: Clarion Books
DATE OF PUBLICATION: June 27, 2005
FORMAT: Hardcover, 128 pages
GENRE: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN: 978-0618517381

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

Ten-year-old Jonathan practically lives at the Anchorage Zoo, where his father is a keeper. He loves animals, and even imagines himself inside their bodies, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel.

Meanwhile, a young brown bear is wandering through the woods near Anchorage, alone and hungry. One night, while searching for food, the bear crosses paths with Jonathan, who eagerly follows him onto the zoo grounds.

But when the bear accidentally kills Mama Goose, Jonathan’s favorite zoo creature, the boy loses the empathy he had felt earlier. He wishes that the bear—now nicknamed Trouble—would meet the same fate as his beloved goose, and he impulsively takes steps to make sure that happens.

Based on an actual incident, and told in alternating chapters from the bear’s and Jonathan’s points of view, this is both an involving animal story and a thought-provoking investigation into the consequences of one’s actions.

MY REVIEW:

I read this book aloud to my daughters.

Overall, we enjoyed the book. My girls love anything and everything to do with animals, so I knew they would.

There were some strange parts of the book where Jonathan and his sister play a game where they try to imagine themselves inside the animals becoming what they see and feel. The parts of the book written where he is "inside" the animals is just weird, though. I am all for creativity and imagination, and that is not what I have a problem with; it is just the way that Bauer wrote those passages that just seems "weird" to me.

We have read other Bauer books that we have enjoyed more.

MY RATING: 3 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#24 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

Monday, April 4, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: New Moon


TITLE: New Moon
SERIES: Book #2 of The Twilight Saga
AUTHOR: Stephenie Meyer
NARRATOR: Ilyana Kadushin
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
DATE OF PUBLICATION: September 12, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged OverDrive WMA Audiobook (14 hours, 51 minutes)
GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0739348307

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS:

I FELT LIKE I WAS TRAPPED IN ONE OF THOSE TERRIFYING NIGHTMARES…

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning. . . .


Legions of readers entranced by the New York Times bestseller Twilight are hungry for the continuing story of star-crossed lovers Bella and Edward. In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural spin. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality.

MY REVIEW:

This is the second book in The Twilight Saga.

I would have given this book a higher rating except for two things:

Firstly, I thought Bella’s behaviour was totally pathetic when she was without Edward...not a good role model for young, impressionable teens.

Secondly, I missed Edward! His presence is featured only in the beginning and ending of the book, and the middle of the book is filled with Bella’s lamenting for Edward and her relationship with Jacob.

I quite like Jacob, by the way. At this point, I am on the fence between “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob”. I loved the book, though not quite as much as its predecessor, Twilight. I can’t wait to read the next in the series, Eclipse.

I was pleased that Ilyana Kadushin was the narrator again. I enjoyed listening to her.

MY RATING: 4.25 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#23 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge
#15 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge
#15 for my 2011 "Whisper Stories in My Ear" Challenge
#9 for my What an Animal Reading Challenge IV 
#2 for my 2nds Challenge 2011
#2 for my 2011 YA Reading Challenge
#2 for my Vampire Challenge 2011
#2 for my 101 Fantasy Perpetual Reading Challenge (Item #10)
#1 for my Shifter Challenge 2011
#2 for my Banned Books Perpetual Challenge
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