Monday, June 28, 2010

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony
written by Eoin Colfer

My beef with the Artemis Fowl series is big, but simple: It's not easy to understand all of the elements of the cluttered story, and therefore, the story is not very memorable. I just feel like there are some fantastic elements in every book in the series, but seriously? Colfer should have lumped them all together in one hugely fast-paced book and been done with it, instead of cranking out entirely too many [desperate-looking] sequels. Just...give the characters the rest they and the readers deserve already instead of entangling our minds and sensibilities in these strange mazes of indecipherable stories! There really does come to be a time when it's pretty obvious this is just being done for money now (especially with the new reprinted fancy covers, graphic novels, etc.). Give it a rest! I was very glad to actually see a little bit of character development in Artemis in this one, as opposed to the usual endless action. Artemis and Holly are the only characters I can bother caring about, and I liked the focus on them in this story, and would like more. I also did enjoy meeting the female Artemis Fowl and am certainly intrigued by her appearance, although it would have been great if she'd been introduced in, oh, say the 2nd book, or even earlier on. I really would like to know if Colfer has an endgame planned out. This book ended on a ridiculously intriguing cliffhanger, and for once, I'm excited to read more. Overall, probably the best book in the series, but still, a pretty weak series with the potential to be so much more.

Rating: 3.5/5

I got this book from...:Used book store

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Landry News

The Landry News
written by Andrew Clements

I have really fond memories attached to this (and other Andrew Clements) books. I first read this one in a 4th grade book club, and absolutely fell in love with Clements' ability to create realistic characters just dealing with school situations, something kids will definitely be able to relate to, since school is pretty much where they spend most of their lives. There's humor everywhere making your way through this book. It also introduces, through simple characters and their interactions and activities in the classroom, a much bigger, more sophisticated and complicated concept: censorship in print publications. Not only does the story toy with the day-to-day goings on of a classroom environment, it touches on issues like divorce and classroom politics. One of the things that I really like, as someone who is on track to become a teacher, is the demystification of a teacher's life, telling the students, hey, you know what? Your teacher's not this huge scary power figure at the front of the classroom, he/she's a human being, just like you. It's very cool to see the evolution and growth of one girl's creativity alongside the evolution and growth of her teacher. It's incredibly obvious that Andrew Clements taught, and I'm going to say that's what gave this novel its realism and appeal to such a wide audience.

I got this book from...:Swaptree

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Over My Dead Body: 43 Old Cemetery Road, Book 2

Over My Dead Body: 43 Old Cemetery Road
written by Kate Klise
illustrated by Sarah Klise


In my review of the first book in the 43 Old Cemetery Road series, I didn't have many kind words for the book, and I expressed serious doubt about the integrity of this new series launched by the Klise sisters. So it was quite a strange surprise to find a sequel that I liked immensely more than its predecessor! That never seems to happen; one usually likes the first book in a series more or the same as any sequels. This book flowed much better than the first, back to the original plot-twisty heartwarming spirit that I'd come to expect from Kate Klise. Some time is given to a recap of the first book's events, which I liked very much, as it was interactive, short, and quickly led in to the fast paced story ahead. It's another tangled tale by Kate Klise, where random objects and people are introduced throughout the story, only to come together at the end for a spectacular, cheer-inducing ending. I'm re-energized and looking forward to reading more by Kate Klise.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book from...:Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh