Books4Hearts – Book Reviews: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sovay by Celia Rees

‘I have another matter,’ he said eventually. ‘Do you know this man?’ pushed over the slip of paper that Leon had given him. ‘Yes.’ Fernand studied it. ‘He’s a journalist. Used to work for Marat’s scandal sheet. Specializes in lies and slander. if he can’t find anything, he makes it up. or forges it.’
Sovay is not the normal lady of 1794. She is engaged to a boy, of course, but when she finds out that he hasn’t been faithful, she has quite a different way of getting back then most of her peers. She dresses as a highwayman, and waylays the unfortunate boy’s coach. “Stand and Deliver,” she says. That is when Sovay’s real adventures start. When a chain of events leads to her father and brother disappearing, her friends in trouble, her own life at stake, and the future of England, France and Ireland resting on her shoulders, Sovay must fight back, to finish off the person who would have England taken over by anyone- a reign of terror that would never end.
Sovay was shown to a cavernous chamber which must once have been a grand bedroom, but all the original furnishings had been removed, apart from a great armoire that was probably to heavy to shift, although the doors had been taken, for some inexplicable reason.
This book was interesting. I really liked the beginning, but the middle was a bit long, and it could have belonged to a completely different book, in my opinion. Sovay was a likeable character, and so were most of the other characters in here. What I didn’t like was that, first, I wasn’t sure who Sovay had fallen in love with. There are about 5 different love interests, and it is utterly confusing. Also, the ending. I do. not. like. Celia rees’ endings. Not. at. all. This one is incomplete. It makes me wonder what the heck she was thinking. True, it causes thought, but my thoughts are mostly “did Gabriel ever get free?” and “What happened to Virgil?” She wraps up Sovay’s thread in an (in my opinion) rather unrealistic way, and she doesn’t even start with the others. While this book was an okay read, and I do not regret picking it up (and I would not stop anyone from reading it, of course), I would have to give this book a rating of 2 stars. (I take points off for lousy endings.)
She stationed herself at the crossroads, adjusted the black eye-mask and green kerchief and loosened her weapons. The horses slowed as they toiled up the long hill, but as soon as they reached the summit, the driver cracked his whip, ready to make a speedy descent. Sovay rode out and the horses shied but showed now sign of stopping. ‘Stand and deliver!’ she shouted.

A Friend at Midnight by Caroline B. Cooney

Dr. Bordon nodded for a while. “Just give it some thought,” he said, finally, “and some prayer.”
“What do you think I’ve been doing? Giving it potato chips?”
Lily’s parents are divorced. They have been for a while, and it’s not the divorce that is troubling Lily. Nor the fact that they have a new stepdad and half brother. Alright, that might be a little bit troubling. And the fact that Lily’s sister, Reb, has gone off to college is also a bit disturbing to Lily- but the real thing hits her with her brother. Her eight year old brother, Michael, has gone to live with their father. No biggy, right? Except for the fact that he’s abandoning her. Them. All of them. Fifteen year old Lily, though, brushes it off. She doesn’t trust her dad, but whatever. What could go wrong? When Lily gets a call in the middle of the night from a public pay phone at an airport several states away, she finds out what exactly can- and has- gone wrong.
“Oh, hi,” said Amanda. “I was just about to call. Nathaniel’s here, all upset from the screaming and yelling, and he wants to live with me and I said of course, forever, I love you you’re perfect, and he said, Then can I have ice cream? The thing about three-year-olds is, Lily, they’re honest. It all comes down to ice cream. Who dishes it out and who doesn’t. I,” said Amanda with satisfaction, “am a disher-out.”
I picked up this book because of a) the title. “A Friend at Midnight” just sounds cool, doesn’t it? b) The cover. I mean, look at it. Neat-o much? So, I read it, and I was, and I quote “sniffling” (because I wasn’t laughing out loud- but it was still hilarious) all the way through. I would not recommend this to anyone who can’t deal with at least a little bit of religion, but if you can deal with it, then this book is pretty amazing. (I, myself, as long as the book isn’t too overly religious, am fine.) I would give this about 4 1/2 stars. It had an amazing ending, and very happy. It left me satisfied, and I’m willing to give (or take away) star points just because of the ending. Read this, if only to get to the happy end. 🙂
In Sunday school, Michael’s teacher discussed the Star of Christmas. Had it actually been a comet? Maybe the juxtaposition of two planets? Had there been a star at all? Probably the whole thing was a myth, giving simple peasants something sparkly in the midst of their dreary lives. Only a minute ago, Michael had believed in Santa. He did not want to hear that the Christmas star was just another con game. He decided his Sunday school teacher was a loser (there was evidence of this already) and he stopped listening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Savvy by Ingrid Law

If only my savvy worked in reverse, I thought again- and not for the last time. If only I could draw a smiling sun on the back of my hand, then everyone around me could know exactly how I felt, exactly how happy I was at that perfect moment.
When Beaumonts turn thirteen, they discover their superpower. It’s a tradition, and it’s no different then discovering that you have a knack for playing piano, or you can juggle like nobodies business, or you can bake a pie that everyone loves, even if they normally hate pastries. Only, for the Beaumonts, it’s just a bit more dramatic. Mibs’ brother can cause storms, her grandpa can make the earth move, to make a new patch of land, her other brother has electricity, and her mother is virtually perfect. Mibs can’t wait till she turns thirteen. Right before her birthday, though, distaster strikes. Mibs’ father is hurt badly, and he has to go to the hospital. It is not expected that he’ll wake up. Mibs, with the help of two brothers, Fish and Samson, a sixteen “I’m too cool for you” girl, Bobbi, who isn’t who she appears, Bobbi’s brother Will (who Mibs just might like like), a delivery man for a company who makes pink bibles, Lester, and an “angel” named Lill, Mibs has to go and face the very biggest adventure she could have ever wished to go on, while trying to discover her “savvy”.
Ignoring Bobbi and scrambling after Will junior, Fish demanded “What did you do to my sister? What did you do to her?” “Will’s got a secret, want to know the secret?” “WASH YOUR HAND, WILL JUNOR!” I screamed again, raising my voice to be heard over the brawl and the sound of breaking lass. As my brother’s pressure system grew, the windows closest to Fish began to fracture, spreading splintering cracks outward like spiderwebs zipping and pinging through the glass as Fish’s gusts and gales swelled in speed and strength.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed “Waiting for Normal”, “Fortunes Folly” “Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister”, and “A Crooked Kind of Perfect”. I would say that I’d give this book 4 and 1/2 stars.

Libyrinth by Pearl North

He tilted his head to one side and leaned in toward her, peering at her like she was a wounded bird. “You don’t know the Song.” “Does it go, ‘oh Susanna, oh don’t you hide from me, I’ve come from old Ilysies with a ten-pound block of cheese’?”
The Libyrians live in a library so vast that no one knows all the books that are in it. Haly is a clerk to a Libyrian- her job is to run errands, catalog books, and pretty much do whatever is asked of her. Haly, however, is different then most of the other Libyrians. She can literally hear the books. Whenever she’s close to one, she can hear it’s voice, she can hear it’s story. She finds out that her mistress has found the Book of Night, or the book that contains all knowledge. the person, though, that was meant to be helping her mistress, is a traitor, and Haly, her friend Clauda, and her mistress, Selene, have to go to find the book, before the Eradicants, or book burners. When Haly is captured by the Eradicants, however, she finds quite a different world then she or her friends ever imagined. She must find a way to reunite both worlds- that of words, and that of song- before the Libyrinth is destroyed, forever.
A mischievous smile curled the corners of his mouth. “They’ve obviously got it all wrong. you opened my ears to the truth. And I do believe that the divine runs through you, but if it turns out that the divine is a bunch of tiny red demons, well then I think it serves some people right.”
This was one of those books that you literally can’t put down. I started it, didn’t like the beginning, and closed it up, to put it away, but it kept bugging me. “What is going to happen,” I asked myself. “What sort of things does Haly have to go through?” And I continued reading. Although I may not have liked the beginning, I may have thought “who cares about Haly” at first, later I proved myself wrong. This was an amazing book, and I stayed up past midnight, just to finish it. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone, and I’d give it five stars out of five.

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