The Foreshadowing

The Foreshadowing By Marcus Sedgwick 291 pages It is 1915, a few months after the start of World War I. Seventeen-year-old Sasha is a sheltered English girl. Just as her brother, Thomas, longs to be a doctor, Sasha wants to become a nurse. As the hospital fills with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the wards confirms what Sasha has suspected. She has a terrible gift: she can see the future. And as with Cassandra, the prophetess of Troy, no one believes her. Sasha's premonitions show her the horrors of the battlefields of the Somme and the faces of the soldiers who will die. One of them is her brother. In this riveting story, Sasha risks her own life as she races to find Thomas and-somehow-prevent his death. summary from the inside cover of The Foreshadowing This is a historical fiction book with an interesting spin on it. I liked it very much. Alexandra is an English girl with two older brothers when World War I breaks out. Her eldest brother, Edgar joins the army immediately, while her other, Thomas goes to medical school. Left alone with her parents, Alexandra begins to confirm a suspicion she'd had for years, she can see the future. It's a terrible gift, because she can only see people's death. Then, at Christmas time they get a card from Edgar saying he's fine. That night Edgar speaks to Alexandra telling her how he died. In the morning a telegram comes saying he's dead. Grieving, Alexandra realizes things could be much worse. Then Thomas joins the army and is sent to France. Alexandra begins having dreams of his death, and since nobody believes her, she takes matters into her own hands and tries to save him. It's a very interesting book because parts of it are very much about this magical sort of ability, while others are very much about the horrors of war. I liked it because it gives a very different twist to war and mystical powers. It also shows how important family can be for people. Rating: 4 Stars -kkuhar


Well hello there

So I see I have several new followers, which is nice, and I see some of them have actually been reading my blog.  The purpose of this post is to tell you all that I am still here even though I haven't posted in several months and trust me I feel awful about that.  I've been reading as always and I have a bunch of books I'm hoping to post about soon, fingers crossed!  And so here come the excuses:  school, school, school, sports, laziness, and school.  Sounds fun right?  Blah.  Anyways, I'm back and hopefully I'll be posting again soon!  :)



New Feature: The Classics

I'm going to start a new feature on the blog called The Classics.  I like reading the classics but it seems like not as many people do anymore.  What the feature will do is help introduce you to the author with a short bio and then a review about one of their books.  I'll probably start out with more well known authors but hopefully I can find some you haven't heard about yet.  The feature will be done at least every two months.  The first one for this month will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Check out the review and author bio below.  Please leave comments telling me what you think about classic books.

p.s. the next feature will be in October.

The Classics: Wuthering Heights

Author Bio:
Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818 in Thornton, Bradford in Yorkshire, England.  She was the fourth daughter of Maria Branwell who died three years after her birth.  In 1824 Emily and her four sisters Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Anne entered the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge where Maria and Elizabeth died a year later.  She and her two remaining sisters are best known for their novels and poetry.  In 1842 they went to the Penisonnat Heger in Belgium where they studied French, German, and literature in the hopes of someday opening their own school.  Emily left to go home first but by 1845 the sisters had given up their dream and were all together again.  It was Charlotte's idea to begin publishing their work and Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, one year before Emily's death on December 19, 1848.  
Merriman, C. D. "Emily Bronte - Biography and Works." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 06 Aug. 2010. .

Wuthering Heights
367 pages

"Emily Bronte's dark, brooding vision finds expression in her masterpiece of passion and force.  Her only novel, Wuthering Heights, published a year before  her death in 1848 at the age of thirty, stands as perhaps the most intensely original work in the English language.  In it Emily Bronte records the story of the passionate love between Catherine Earnshaw and the wild Heathcliff with such truth, imagination and emotional intensity that a plain tale of the Yorkshire Moors acquires the depth and simplicity of an ancient tragedy."

summary from the back of Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics, 1985 paperback edition)

This book might be a little confusing because it involves  more than one generation of a family.  Many of them have the same name and how they are related can be confusing too.  The book is mainly about Heathcliff and how he affected so many people.  I really like the book but there were parts where I found myself wishing it would just get to the point.  It always made me want to know more about the characters and what would happen to them next.  Heathcliff was a frustrating character for me because I would want to hate him for everything he's done but then he would show you how much pain he was in over Catherine.  I don't really understand how he justified to himself what he did.  In the end I did like the book even though it was kind of weird. Rating: 4 stars



The Vinyl Princess

The Vinyl Princess
313 pages

"How does a sixteen-year-old vinly junkie get by ?  Summer is here and Allie is exactly where she wants to be: working full time at the ultra-cool Bob & Bob Records in Berkeley.  Here Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers - all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music.  It's the perfect setup for her to develop her identity as The Vinyl Princess.  Her very first zine is about ready to print and her new blog, www.thevinylprincess.com, is up and running.  From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie's poised to launch a vinyl revolution.  Or at least reach some fellow music geeks out there.
They are out there...aren't they?"

summary from the inside cover of The Vinyl Princess (Harper Teen, 2010 Hardcover Edition)

The Vinyl Princess was written by Yvonne Prinz.  I liked the storyline and there were a few good plot twists but something about the writing style decreased the books appeal to me.  There were a lot of funny descriptions but they kind of just kept going on, one after another.  Each one was funny by itself but when you put together a long string of detailed descriptions, it gets a little tiring.  Sometimes simple dialogue or descriptions convey the meaning best.  There were also a lot of music references to a wide range of genres and artists which a lot of people would not understand unless they listened to that music.  These two small problems (for me) kept the book from being one of the best ones I've read, but I did it a lot.  There were several good plot twists that changed things up and kept the story interesting.  This is the kind of book I would probably read again if I randomly saw it on the shelf at the library and had time to read it again.  Rating: 3 stars, pretty good, but not the best I've read.

p.s.  The authors website is called www.thevinylprincess.com where you can learn about her, her book, and read her blog about music.



You can check out my blog too. I've added a lot of interesting books to it recently that you might like. This blog has some really great books so please comment and let us know what you think about the books we post.



Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds

Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds
319 pages

" 'It was murder.  I don't know how or why but I think I can prove it'  There is never a dull moment for Mariah Mundi living in the Prince Regent Hotel.  But catastrophe strikes when three eminent visitors spontaneously combust at a hotel party.  Just a freak of nature or a cleaverly plotted murder?  Mariah Mundi senses a conspiracy.  and when his best friend, Sacha, is kidnapped, he knows that he must find answers-urgently.  Who's the masked man seen prowling the streets?  And why is the richest man in the world so interested in the hotel?  Could the answer lie in the mythical Ghost Diamonds?"

summary from the back of Mariah Mundi and the Ghost Diamonds (Faber and Faber, 2009 paperback edition)

With this book, I found it a lot easier to read than the first one in the Mariah Mundi series.  The first one seemed to take forever to read, but I got through this one much more quickly.  In this book, Mariah is on his first case with the the Bureau of Antiquities.  It doesn't really do much  to advance the plot of the series, except for that it gives even more clues as to what might have happened to Mariah's parents.  There were a few loose ends which I hope will be tied up in the next book but I can't tell if the main action of the next book will revolve around Mariah's role in the Bureau or what happened to his parents.  Also, once you find out what happened to his parents, I don't know if the series could continue beyond that, so far there is only one other book (which I think is the last one).  I would say that the Mariah Mundi series is pretty average based on the first two books, I wouldn't read it again, but I did enjoy the books.  Rating: 3 stars


See the review for Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box


The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
391 pages

"If you fail all is lost.  Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other.  When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them closer to danger than ever before.  Is this the end of the Mysterious Benedict Society?"

summary from inside cover of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (MT Books, 1st edition October 2009)

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma is written by Trenton Lee Stewart.  I like this book as much as the first one.  In this book, the children are being kept at Mr. Benedict's house to protect them from Mr. Curtain, they can't leave.  The government keeps trying to get the Whisperer from Mr. Benedict but he is doing everything he can to keep them from getting it because he knows they will use it to invade peoples minds.  They have people guarding the house, but one of them is a spy for Mr. Curtain and he helps Mr. Curtain steal the Whisperer and capture the children again.  I really like the ending and if you have read the other two books, I would say it is definitely worth it to finish the series.  Rating: 5 stars



The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves
404 pages

"Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the barrier.  She's content to let her friends dream of the dark city up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse.  Home is all she's ever known and all she needs for happiness.  But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.  Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried.  One night beyond the Barrier...  One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery...  One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.  Now Gabry knows only one thing: of she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest and her mother's past".

summary from inside cover of The Dead-Tossed Waves (Gollancz, First Edition 2010)

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan is about Mary's daughter.  I just want to say that this one is much better than the first book (The Forest of Hands and Teeth).  Mary now lives in and operates the lighthouse on the beach she found after escaping from her old village.  The new town she lives in is called Vista.  Here, they are not cut off from the rest of the world and they know there are other people alive and they communicate with them, unlike in Mary's old village.  Mary leaves to try and find the people she left behind in the forest, she has tried before but she could never find them.  A little later, Gabry is forced to follow her with some of her friends from Vista.  At first Gabry seemed just like her mother, risking the lives of her friends and the two guys she likes, so I thought this book would be like the first and I wouldn't like it.  Towards the end though, she kind finds out a lot about her past and her mothers past which changes her a little.  The third book is set to come out at the beginning of 2011, and I'm actually looking forward to finding out what happens to Gabry and her friends, the book ends with a lot of unresolved things going on.  Rating: 3 stars



The Secret Countess

The Secret Countess
345 pages

"ST. Petersburg Russia, 1919.  Anna's world is under threat.  The eighteen-year-old countess has lived in luxury all her life, but revolution is tearing Russia apart - and her family must escape...  London, 1919.  Now penniless, Anna is working as a servant for the aristocrat Westerholmes.  But as she falls in love with the young earl it becomes harder to keep her true identity secret..."

summary from back of The Secret Countess (Picador, 2007 edition)

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson was first published as a A Countess Below Stairs in 1981.  The reason I read this book was because I have read other books by this author and they were pretty good.  In this book Anna and her family have fled from Russia and now are now living in England.  They are there with a lot of other royal and high ranking families that have fled as well.  Because they no longer have very much money they all have to work hard, but none of them are bitter about it.  This is a romance book, the person Anna loves is engaged to a woman who is 'perfect' but turns out to be an awful person.  I usually don't like books like this but this one was actually pretty good, and I kept wanting to find out what happened to her.  A lot of times when I read books like this, I get bored with them.  It has a lot of funny parts, but the ending isn't very unexpected.  Altogether it was an interesting book and I would recommend it more to girls 13 and under, although other people might like it also.  Rating: 3 stars