Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

So. I finally finished #5. I have to say it was the hardest for me to get into. I hated how there was NOTHING good for so long. I just felt discouraged reading it, thinking, how can this possibly get worse. Then it would. I was particularly disturbed by the Umberidge detentions and how Harry felt ashamed and didn't' want to tell anyone.

The books are getting dark. It's not the witchcraft and dark magic that bother me, it's the good versus evil. I just like for the good guys, especially kids, to have a resourse. It just felt like Harry was being isolated from any kind of support and that upset me.

I know I'm naive. I realize there are lots of people in horrible situations, I'm just not sure I want to read 1,000's of pages about it.

That said. I did enjoy the unraveling of this book at the end. I'm still a fan of the characters. I feel like I finally know them a bit better. They are filling out and becoming less of cartoons to me. I think J.K. Rowling is an excellent writer.

I prefer the more concise length of the first couple books. I think the same story could be told a bit quicker. I am still frustrated by the limits and limitless of the magic. There are no rules, so you never know what they will or will not be able to do with magic.

OK. I'm off to start #6, and I think we're going to see the movie tomorrow night.

Oh, and about the movies. I've seen 2, and I'm not sure how anyone could follow what was going on if they hadn't read the books. But I do think they are well done.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

I really enjoyed this book. I think Kate DiCamillo is a great writer, but both The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane seemed a little dark for kids. That being said, I really liked them, and so did my boys.

Winn-Dixie has some sad elements, but to me was much lighter than the others. The story is sweet, and really does show all the nice things that happen to Opal because of finding her dog. I enjoyed reading this aloud to my boys, and I think they liked it too. The characters are great, the dialouge between them is great, and the overall message of the story is great.

I've decided that I always enjoy when the main characters are a mixed-matched bunch.

This is a short, sweet, nice book.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beauty by Robin McKinley

I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it. It is young adult fantasy. It is a sweet and magical re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. If you like fairy tales, you will like this book.

I especially liked that everyone was nice. Beauty has two sisters, and they are nice. Her dad is great, and even the Beast is nice from the beginning. I liked the descriptions of the enchantments, and enjoyed the writing style. That being said, I didn't LOVE this book. I think it's nice, but I think I would have enjoyed it more about 20 years ago. I read The Blue Sword by the same author in junior high and I remember liking it a lot.

Here are a couple examples of her writing style:

"Firelight sent a warm glow through the windows, and left golden footprints in the garden."

"..although I privately thought that our family already had more than enough virtues personified."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Harry Potter Continued......

So I've finished 2 & 3, and I'm a little way into #4.

I enjoyed both 2 and 3, and was actually kind of scared at the end of #3, and stayed up too late to finish it. Which is always a sign of liking a book for me. You know, it's worth giving up sleep for. I think both of these books kind of followed a similiar story line. You knew who to be suspicious of, but not sure why. Then the bad guy didn't end up as bad, a couple twists, etc. But I think both are good stories. I have to say the element I really didn't like was Dobby. I think the whole concept is annoying and unpleasant. I guess that's the point, but I'm not thrilled to see house elves back in the story line in Goblet of Fire.

I have to say I'm having a hard time keeping my enthusiasm going for this book. I'm just not that interested, and as they keep adding more characters and layers it's not helping. My son has assured me that he really like #4, and he just finished reading it for the 4th or 5th time, so I'm trying to go on his word. I don't think I'll be able to finish these monster volumes in time for the new movie to come out in a week. So I might be re-thinking my plan.