Book Review: Ghosts

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is one of those books that I saw on quite a few blogs a while back, and I’ll admit, I was intrigued by it. My son also showed interest in this book, so we decided to get it in order to read it.

I didn’t really know what to expect with this one. I decided to go in as blind as possible, knowing only that it involved sisters and ghosts. I have to say, this was the first book that I have read that had a character with cystic fibrosis. I know very little about the disease, besides what the book told me, so it was kind of refreshing to get to see a character affected by it. I do feel that not enough books have characters who are affected by diseases and disabilities. This is also the first book that I have read that had the Day of The Dead as a part of the story. So those two aspects along made me enjoy it.

The sisters relationship reminded me a lot of the one I had with my sister. We fought at times, got along at others and were even inconvenienced by each others presence from time to time. All in all, it was a great representation of how siblings act around one another.

The art in this book was also very enjoyable. And the overall flow of the story was pretty good, a little slow at times, but not too bad.

One thing that I didn’t understand, and it wasn’t explained in the book, was why the ghosts were offered orange soda. I get that it is some sort of offering, but it seemed to be a key component to the Day of The Dead celebration, but there was no explanation as to why it was that particular item and not something else offered to the ghosts. Honestly, for someone who knows next to nothing about Day of the Dead, I was left wanting to know more about it and I do feel like there should have been a bit more information put in the book about it and cystic fibrosis as a whole. I understand you can only put so much in a book, especially one meant for middle grade kids, but I feel like it left me with more questions than it answered.

My son also read this one, and while he liked, he said he didn’t really understand the story completely.

Overall, this was a good book. I’d recommend it to other to read and I’m sure there are many people out there who would enjoy this one.

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Book Review: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book, I thought that it might actually be a novelization of the Veronica Mars movie, because it felt too similar. This made me disappointed, because I wanted a new story, but I kept on reading and soon realized that this all occurs shortly after the movie, which made me happy.

This story definitely has the feel of the Veronica Mars series, which it should, after all, it’s written by Rob Thomas. I was glad to see that this series was continuing, even if it was in book form, because I have long enjoyed watching Veronica Mars.

I liked how the story unfolded, reintroducing characters I loved from the series, and some I didn’t. The mystery is well thought out and while I had some inkling as to who was behind it and what was happening, I was only partially right in the end.

Overall, I liked this book. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Veronica Mars if they haven’t read it yet. I do plan on eventually reading the sequel to this book.

Monday Progress Report

 

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Bonds of Brotherhood by Paul Cornell

What I did Last Week

Read

Though I did some reading last week, I didn’t finish anything. I am about a third of the way through The Princess Diarist, and I’m enjoying it so far, it’s just unfortunate that I wasn’t able to finish it yet.

Watched

One of my big goals this week was to get through a big stack of movies, and I did that. Over the course of the week I watched a total of fifteen movies, which were Blade Runner, Blood: The Last Vampire, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Anastasia, The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Pale Rider, The Quick And The Dead, Seabiscuit, Hachi, Castle In The Sky, Appaloosa, First Knight, Kingdom of Heaven and The Craft. On top of that, I watched Homestead Rescue, My 600LB Life and Family By The Ton on the PVR.

Life

It was a week of ups and downs, with mostly downs, so I didn’t get as much done as I had planned. I did manage to declutter about half of the kitchen and nearly all of the computer room, but that’s about where my productivity ended. Mostly I just watched movies, played World of Warcraft and a bit of ping pong.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’m taking the week off reading to focus on life.

Watching

I still have so many DVDs to get through to decide whether we want to keep them or not, so that will be what I will be watching over the course of this week – and likely the weeks to come. I will also be watching the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, as it is on Monday and Tuesday.

Life

No real plans here. I’m going to see what happens and go from there.

Book Review: Warcraft Bonds of Brotherhood

My rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Oh boy, what can I say about this one?

I had been excited to read this book, because I loved the Orc prequel novel, Durotan, and figured that this one would be good as well. But, I was wrong.

The art is this book was really the only good thing. Though I will admit that I wish the main characters, Llane, Lothar and Medivh, had a bit more distinguishing features, because honestly they often looked too similar on most pages. Otherwise, the art was enjoyable.

The story however, was both terrible and lacking.

I want to say that this might have been more enjoyable had it been written as an actual novel, instead of a graphic novel, but I’m not sure adding length and those written details would have been enough to salvage it. I’m still gad I read it, but this is one that will now forever sit on my shelf collecting dust – I would get rid of it, but when it comes to Warcraft books, I keep them all, whether I liked them or not.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is the Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read.

Oh boy, this is where I show my reader shame, since some of the books I own have been on my shelf for SO long and I still haven’t read them yet…but don’t worry, I do plan to read them, eventually. Most will be listed as series, since most if not all of them books that have been on my TBR for an extended period of time are part of series. So here they are, in no particular order.

  1. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. Some of these books I have owned for around 20 years and I still haven’t read them.
  2. The Avalon Series by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This has been on my TBR since the TV mini-series came out, so about 15 years or so.
  3. The Borrowers Series by Mary Norton. Not sure how long this has been on my TBR, but it’s been a long time. I think I may have read this one as a kid, but not 100% sure.
  4. Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte. This is another series that has been on my TBR for easily 15 years. I love King Arthur stories, so it’s surprising I haven’t got to this one yet.
  5. Asian Saga by James Clavell. This has been a good 10 years or more since I put this one on my TBR, but I will get around to it at some point.
  6. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. This has probably been on my TBR the longest, since I remember seeing the Lonesome Dove miniseries as a kid and wanting to read the story it was based on, so if I had to guess, I’d say this is a 20+ year TBR book.
  7. InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi. I’ve been wanting to read this manga series since I was first introduced to the anime about 15 years ago. I do plan to read this series over the course of this year.
  8. Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynn Jones. This is one of the more recent additions, but it has still been on my TBR for quite some time. Basically since watching the anime adaptation, I have wanted to read this book.
  9. The African Trilogy by Chinua Achebe. Another book where I’m not sure how long it’s been on my TBR, but it feel like it’s been there too long. It’s on my list of books to finally read this year.
  10. Dune by Frank Herbert. I don’t know exactly how long this one has been on my TBR, but it’s been quite some time. I’ve often felt that I can’t truly call myself a scifi fan until I read Dune.

There you have it, the books that have been on my TBR the longest. What books have been on your TBR for too long and you still haven’t read?

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Smuggler’s Run by Greg Rucka

What I did Last Week

Read

Well, I didn’t have a ton of reading time last week, but I did manage to complete a book. I had been picking away at Final Ride for a couple weeks now, but was finally able to find a good chunk of time to sit down and finish it. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and will be posting a full review of it around April.

 

 

Watched

I once again watched quite a few things over the course of the week. On the PVR I watched Homestead Rescue, My 600LB Life and Family By The Ton. Then I worked through more of our DVD collection and saw The Over The Hill Gang, The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again, The Decoy, Death Rides A Horse, The Gun And The Pulpit, and Excalibur. Finally, the last thing I watched last week was Star Wars: The Last Jedi, since it finally came into the theatre in town and we really wanted to see it again.

Life

This was another, running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off kind of week. I have really been in the groove of cleaning and decluttering our house and the week was no exception to that. I had thought about taking it easy this week and only doing one room, but then once I started I just couldn’t stop. So, I managed to tackle the hall closet downstairs, which I thought would be a quick and easy thing, but once I started I realized how much junk was in there, so that consumed several hours. I spent a while day going through all our home canned goods, making an inventory list so we know what we have an how much of it. I also took all the empty jars and stored them. Next was the entry way. While this area didn’t look too bad on initial glance, I was shocked at how much stuff was there. We had a few bins of outdoor stuff, like hats, mitts and scarves, and after emptying them out, the pile was enormous. By the time I was done going through it all, we managed to fit what we wanted to keep in a single bin. Then I decided to tackle the downstairs bathroom, which acted more as a storage room than a bathroom. In doing this, I also worked on the laundry room, since they are side by side. This little double project took a day and a half to complete but the difference is amazing. I also did a giant donation run since I would say easily 80% of the stuff that I found in the laundry room was set there for donations. So now I once again have my laundry room back and the downstairs bathroom is nearly empty as well. While I was doing this on the weekend, the boy was busy going through his playroom and bedroom, making sure if was tidied up and that there weren’t any toys in there that he didn’t want anymore. He did find a small container worth of toys to get rid of, so that was awesome. I somehow managed to find time on the weekend to also do a bit of baking. I made some oatmeal raisin muffins, some granola cereal and chopped up a bunch of veggies for the coming week. It’s not quite what I wanted to get done baking wise, but is good enough.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I started reading The Princess Diarist on the weekend but didn’t get too far into it. My plan is to finish it this week and with luck be able to start, and perhaps even finish, another book as well.

 

 

 

Watching

I will be keeping up with the three shows I watch weekly off of the PVR, I would watch them when they air, but they all come on pretty late at night, so I tend to watch them the next day. I also have a stack of movies picked out that I am going to try to get through over the course of this month, with hopes of getting through at least a couple this week.

Life

The house decluttering project will continue. This week I plan to tackle the second half of the kitchen, which includes doing an inventory of our bought canned and boxed foods, as well as a freezer inventory. The next area I will likely tackle after that is one of both of the bedrooms, I know the boy went through his last week, but I want to make sure there is nothing in the closet and cupboard in there that need to go as well.

Book Review: Smuggler’s Run

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been trying to make an effort to catch up on reading the new cannon Star Wars books lately. The series is still small, but I have yet to fall in love with the books, though perhaps in time and with the right authors and stories I will.

I figured that I can’t go wrong with a Han Solo story. Who doesn’t love that scruffy looking nerf herder? This story focuses on an event that occurs between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes back.

I thought that the story was pretty good. It had a decent flow to it and the portrayal of Han was pretty spot on. One aspect I liked was how it explained just how difficult it is to pilot the Millennium Falcon, and how it really relies on having a pilot and a co-pilot in order to properly get the ship to respond. I never really gave any thought before as to why Chewbacca was the co-pilot, I just figured he was there because he was Han’s friend.

The story had a decent amount of action scattered throughout, which I feel really helped me enjoy the book more. Without that, the book would have been a bit bland. Plus how can you have a mission to rescue people important to the Rebellion if there aren’t a few blaster fights and ship battles along the way.

One thing I find strange about this book, and all of the other “Journey to” books that I have read so far, is that the 99% of the events within the book happen sometime during the orignal trilogy, yet they are labeled as a Journey To: The Force Awakens. Okay, yes there tend to be small things that will be referenced in The Force Awakens that you will read about in the book, but I just feel like it’s sort of faulty advertising. If it was truly a Journey To The Force Awakens story, then it should help to fill in the thirty year gap between the original trilogy and the new movies, not focus on something that happened during the original trilogy.

Though this book is labeled as Young Adult, I really don’t feel like it falls into the category. I guess it was the easy way the story unfolded that puts it in that genre.

Overall, this book was okay. It wasn’t great but it held it’s own in a fledgling series that is trying to build itself up to what the Expanded Universe what was – though I feel like it will take quite some time to reach that caliber of books. It is a worthwhile read for Star Wars fans that want to absorb every bit of the new cannon, but honestly for the average person it can probably be skipped.