June 4th, 2009

beach & book
  • lafay

Suggestions Needed

I need some suggestions for books for my nephew. He is your typical 12 year old boy ‎who is mostly interested in girls right now, but he also loves fishing and motorcycles ‎and the beach. ‎
His language grade wasn’t that great so his mom has decided that he needs some ‎summer reading to keep him occupied. ‎
Does anyone have any ideas for books he might enjoy? He has all the Harry Potter ‎books already, but isn’t interested in them since he has seen the movies. ‎
Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. ‎

cross posted in booktards
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han shot first

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

The White Queen: A Novel The White Queen: A Novel by Philippa Gregory

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

Philippa Gregory’s latest historical fiction release is, to put it mildly, absolutely amazing. I think this is one of her better books--on par with The Other Boleyn Girl. The scope of The White Queen is just as if not more epic, in terms of literary drama, than the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn at the hand of King Henry VIII. It focuses on The War of the Roses, a bloody war of politics and rival family members pitted against each other as the Yorks and Lancasters fought to become the next ruling family of England.

I didn’t know much about this time in England’s history except that the Tudors, as part of the House of Lancaster, are the winners and the symbol of Henry VII’s unification of the two houses is the Tudor Rose. Of course, since it’s a war of cousins, as soon as I began reading, I had a hard time keeping track of this huge family and found a really handy family tree on Wikipedia made specifically for following the lineage and contributing royals to this war. Even with that, it’s hard to keep track of three generations of names like Richard, Edward, and George. But I think I did fine.

The White Queen is told through the voice of Elizabeth Woodville, a widow of the House of Lancaster with two sons left fatherless from the war with the Yorks. She finds herself in the middle of her mother’s plotting and is soon exerting her ambitions on the upstart York King Edward IV. Gregory imagines theirs being a true romance, despite Edward’s kingly indulgence of other women--she manages to make Edward and Elizabeth’s relationship seem much deeper than political ambition. They are married in secret--an act which eventually comes back to haunt them and puts their positions in danger. Rumors and scandals spread by rivals--even Edward’s own brother--threaten to overturn Elizabeth’s good luck and the safety of her large family of heirs.

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bear jew

Bones of Faerie - Janni Lee Simner Review

Title: Bones of Faerie
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Year of Publication: 2009
Genre: YA, Fantasty
Pages: 247
First Line: "I had a sister once."

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Liza travels through war-ravaged territory in a struggle to bridge the faerie and human worlds and to bring back her mother while learning of her own powers and that magic can be controlled.

(Source: Novelist - powered by EBSCO)

Review: I am glaring at the book. I'm usually pretty lenient with books. Really. I'll read to the very end of just about anything. But this one almost killed me. Less than half-way through, I was already just skimming because nothing was happening. There were these obnoxious parts where the narrator goes, "I saw--blah blah blah blah blah lakes blah blah blah shiny blah blah magic blah blah" And it always started with "I saw" like it was supposed to be all dramatic. The characters were boring, the plot was seemingly non-existent, the action was also non-existent and it was super super boring. Literally, the whole book was a big box of nothing. I can't even describe. I wouldn't recommend this even to my worst enemies.

Worst part: How boring it was!

Best part: The idea was good, I guess. Apocalypse after a faerie war is a kind of cool idea. Definitely wasn't done right though.

Grade: F

Other Books by This Author: Ghost Horse, The Haunted Trail, others.

Tom Perrotta and Marian Keyes

My two most recent reads:

Bad Haircut by Tom Perrotta -- A collection of short stories is often hit-or-miss with me. Some I like, some I don't. All of these short stories revolve around the same main character, Buddy, at different points in his life. But the vignettes weren't all that interesting to me -- or the story would end just at the point where I was becoming interested. Augh! It was disappointing because I loved Perrotta's Little Children. (I own that one.)

Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes -- I think Marian Keyes is a terrific storyteller. Her neon bookjackets are eyesores, which is unfortunate because the casual peruser will be missing out if they bypass her novels. She concentrates on the everyday: people, places, situations, relationships, emotions. And I love her precisely for her attention to detail. She explores the mundane, and I relate to her characters all the more. (This book takes 50 chapters to cover a six-month time period.)