Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book Review: Forever Princess by Meg Cabot

I started with The Princess Diaries a little late in life, at 19, when the first three books in the series had already been published. Several years Mia's senior, I still found it easy to relate to her high school trials and tribulations, her difficulty making friends, and her poor luck with attracting the man of her dreams.

Forever Princess is the riveting conclusion to this 10 book series. (For even more Princess Mia and Michael Moscovitz, check out the books that happen in between the whole numbered books!) Mia is just about to graduate high school, attend her senior prom, and part ways with her virginity. But things in Mia's life haven't gone exactly as planned--it's JP that Mia's in love with now (or is she?) and attending prom and the festivities after with. She's got a lot on her plate as she struggles with her birthday bash, her Grandmere's never-ending butting in, and Michael's permanent relocation to Manhattan. 

I love this series, and this truly was the perfect ending. Thank you, Meg, for an unforgettable ride. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mark Twain

When I was little my maternal grandmother gave me a Readers' Digest hardcover of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. I loved that book, reading it several times. I even bought another adaptation of it later on, which may have been an easier translation. That one I also read numerous times.

When I was in high school, I had to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for English class. I also enjoyed that book, though I have only read it that one time and my tastes might have changed since then.

For book club, we elected to read The Best Short Stories of Mark Twain. I'm not a fan. It's impossible for me to stay focused on the story I'm trying to read, as I imagine dozens of other books I'd rather read instead.

I don't really have a good argument for why I don't like these stories. I could probably count the number I've not minded reading on 2 fingers. So that's 2 stories out of 20 or so? Not a good percentage.

I wish I had something more prolific to say as to why I don't like Mark Twain short stories. I don't; I just think they are boring. Simple as that.

As for Tom Sawyer, I came to learn that Readers' Digest does some kind of editing to stories they publish, so what I read may not have been the story Mark Twain intended to tell. I have since ordered an actual NON Readers' Digest edition to see if I still enjoy this story.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Review: Stargazer by Claudia Gray

So here I am again, writing a review for a book I haven't finished reading.

For those of you just tuning in, I am an avid reader of Young Adult fiction, in particular Paranormal YA fiction. A few months ago a friend let me borrow a book called Evernight by Claudia Gray. It had just the right combination of ingredients: romance, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and of course, paranormal. 

Getting into the sophomore book in the series is proving quite a challenge. The twists and turns in her freshman book were aplenty, and I found myself wanting more. I couldn't wait to own a copy of the book. Just a few weeks ago, that came true. Since my opinion of the first book hasn't changed any, despite my gripes about Stargazer, I'll be adding it to my permanent collection as well.

It's probably good advice to not read book reviews when you are already reading the book. This can backfire on you for several reasons, including ruining key plot points; nothing will be a surprise after that. One reviewer on compared this book to Stephenie Meyer's sophomore book, New Moon. The reviewer has a very good case: Stargazer does indeed parallel the structure of New Moon. Not being a Twilight fan, I'm a little concerned for the future of this series. Will it continue to copycat Meyer's popular series, or will it get back on track?