Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is just your average juvenile delinquent. He moves from boarding school to boarding school, being kicked out of each one, because he just can't manage to stay out of trouble. Or so it seems. You see, Percy doesn't go looking for trouble. Trouble finds him.

On a school field trip, Percy is attacked by his algebra teacher - turned evil monster and begins a life-threatening trek to Camp Half-Blood. On the way, Percy discovers that the gods and goddesses of ancient Greek mythology are very much alive today and that he is, in fact, a son of one of those gods. Percy must use the help of friends Grover and Annabeth to fight off scores of monsters and make it to camp alive. Once at camp, Percy learns of his ancestry and trains to fight evil monsters. When the camp discovers Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen and Percy is the accused thief, Percy begins a quest to find the bolt and clear his name.

I think the biggest thing to keep in mind while reading the Percy Jackson series is that it is targeted for 9-12-year-olds. I read a few harsh reviews on Goodreads, which I completely respect and understand, but I think in order to enjoy this series and not nit-pick it to death is to appreciate it for what it is - a middle grade novel. That said, I thought it was a really cute book. I'm a huge fan of mythology, so the whole premise was very appealing to me. I also thought Percy's "disabilities" and the locations of Mount Olympus and the Underworld were very clever. I also enjoyed the way the gods, goddesses, and other mythological creatures were depicted. Overall, it wasn't quite the page turner I was hoping it would be, but I will be continuing with the series.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In My Bag (6)

In My Bag is my version of the weekly meme, In My Mailbox. IMM was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and it explores the contents of my mailbox or shopping bag on a weekly basis.

For review:

Some Girls Are - Courtney Summers
*Copy provided by Other Shelf Tours*

From the library:

Saving Francesca and Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta

That Summer and Someone Like You - Sarah Dessen

The Luxe and Rumors - Anna Godbersen

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler; The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan


Wherever Nina Lies - Lynn Weingarten (from The Book Owl - thanks again, McKenzie!)


Top 8 - Katie Finn (a total surprise from Book Divas!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning

You may have noticed my lack of posting lately, so I just wanted to check in and let you lovely readers know that I haven't completely fallen off the face of the earth. I'm sorry I don't have something as exciting as a spring break trip to gloat about, but my excuse is almost as good. I'm getting a library! We've been remodeling our house one room at a time for over two years, and I'm finally getting my home library. It's not quite done yet, so I'll hold on to the pictures for a little bit longer, but I promise to update with before and after shots as soon as it's done.

Now that that's out of the way, I have several reviews to type up along with three weeks' worth of IMM posts that I guess I'll have to compile into one super post. Okay, now I'm off to write some reviews and catch up on the 300+ unread items in my reader - eep!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Parker Fadley is a good girl gone bad. Her entire high school is placed on red alert when the cheerleading captain and future valedictorian starts coming to school drunk and failing classes. Her parents think she's suicidal and the school officials think she's playing for attention, but what Parker really wants is to just be left alone. She breaks up with her boyfriend and is mean to her friends in hopes of alienating herself from everyone who cares about her. Her plan goes from bad to worse when the new guy at school won't let her push him away. No one understands Parker's desire to disappear, but then they also don't know the truth. Parker is hiding something horrible that happened - something that may be her fault.

The only thing better than finally getting your hands on a book you've been waiting for is loving it more than you thought you would. Don't get me wrong, after all the rave reviews I'd read, I had high expectations for this book. Really high. Who knew they could be surpassed? Parker is such a great character. She's bitchy and ugly, but you can't help but love her because her pain is so honest. I was blown away by the way the "incident" is revealed. I kept thinking back to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak while reading. It really wasn't difficult to figure out Melinda's secret. (Not that knowing the ending detracts at all from the awesomeness of Speak.) That being said, I love a good mystery, and even though Cracked Up to Be is not a particularly suspenseful book, it almost felt like I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the big reveal. Summers' cast of characters are perfectly flawed, and her story is completely relevant to today's youth. I wouldn't believe it was her debut novel if I didn't know any better. I can't wait to see what she has in store in her second novel Some Girls Are.
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