Saturday, January 9, 2010

Review: Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Magic Under Glass Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
My rating: 4.5/5.0

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240

I received this book to read and review through Around the World Tours

My Review:

A beautiful story of a girl who goes from dancing in a show to being a woman set to sing with an automaton while living in a wealthy man's home. I loved the fantasy world mixed with real world aspect of it. It sounds like it's historical, yet there is wizardry and fairies mixed in. A very well-developed world that I look forward to exploring more in future books.

The love story is also beautiful. I like how it shows how one can fall in love with someone for who they are not what they are - Nimira was able to look past the fact that Erris is an automaton. And Erris' love for Nimira was lovely too.

I liked Nimira's character, she is strong and even when she is a dancer, she remember who she is and knows that she will have a better life. She never compromises herself and I appreciated the self-confidence she showed. But she wasn't without weakness either, she was a great balance of being a young woman.

The plot kept this book moving along with the characters and it is a wonderful book to spend an afternoon with.

About the Book:

Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

Review: NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson

My rating: 4.25/5.0

Publisher: Twelve
Publication Date: September 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
My Review:

I received this as an audio book for review from Hachette Books.

First as an audio book - this is a good one. It is read by the author Po Bronson and he does a great job reading it. His voice is enjoyable to listen to and just works perfect with the book. I mean it's his book and he knows exactly how he meant things to be written and eventually spoken.

Second as the book itself - this is a good one for parents. I learned a lot of things about my parenting while listening to the book. Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have done a lot of research and have gone around and witnessed others research in the field of child development. They are taking these new cutting-edge findings and laying them out for parents today. This book really spoke to me as I want my boys to do well and I want to be the best parent I can. I often found myself coming in after listening to this in the car and sharing some of the wisdom with my husband. We are both trying to put some of the wisdom from this book into practice.

The chapters are put together well and the research is wonderful. The authors explain the concepts well and give examples of each trait they look at. I enjoyed every minute listening to this audiobook and I hope I have come away with some really useful information.

So if you are a parent struggling in this world of pushing children and you are unsure what to do, I really suggest you grab this book and read it. I think it should be required reading for new parents as it is so simple yet I think the parenting techniques are very effective and will be practiced in my house.

About the Book:

In a world of modern, involved, caring parents, why are so many kids aggressive and cruel? Where is intelligence hidden in the brain, and why does that matter? Why do cross-racial friendships decrease in schools that are more integrated? If 98% of kids think lying is morally wrong, then why do 98% of kids lie? What's the single most important thing that helps infants learn language?

NurtureShock is a groundbreaking collaboration between award-winning science journalists Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They argue that when it comes to children, we've mistaken good intentions for good ideas. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, they demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring--because key twists in the science have been overlooked.

Nothing like a parenting manual, the authors' work is an insightful exploration of themes and issues that transcend children's (and adults') lives.

Review: Good Ghouls Guide to Getting Even by Julie Kenner

The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even The Good Ghouls' Guide to Getting Even by Julie Kenner

My rating: 4.25/5.0

Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publish Date: April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256

I received this book through my Booksfree subscription.

My Review:
A fun look at what happens when the school good girl and future valedictorian gets turned into a vampire.

I loved Elizabeth as a character. Loved her humor and snarkiness as she tells the story of how she became a vampire and what happens next. It's an interesting story full of the usual high school characters, but I love all of the different personalities shown. From the jocks and cheerleaders to the brainy ones, all are shown as typical high school students. Throw in some are vampires and you get an interesting tale. Full of humor, some romance and vampires and vampire hunters, this book is just a fun enjoyable young adult read.

About the Book:

Elizabeth Frasier's ticked off. Her junior year of high school was going just fine. But thanks to a bunch of jerkwad vampire jocks, she ended up undead, and with a thirst that a thousand Diet Cokes couldn't quench. Now she's out for blood-and revenge. And she knows exactly what to do...Elizabeth's read Salem's Lot. Separate the good vamps from the bad and wipe out the crowd that did her in. On top of that, she's got to figure out how to be mortal again-unless universities start accepting dead girls.

Review: Private by Kate Brian

Private (Private, #1) Private by Kate Brian

My rating: 4.5/5.0

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: June 27, 2006
Pages: 227
Format: Paperback

I seem to be on a young adult reading kick at the moment and trying to catch up on some series I have missed. I checked Private out from my local library.

This is a really interesting book. It has the usual rich in-crowd in it but there is something sinister about them. I really liked that the main character was just your average girl trying to fit in at school. I can really identify with Reed. She's a nice girl, but doesn't quite fit in. She has a home life she is trying to get away from and she just wants to fit in and do her best at her new private school.

The Billings-girls are also interesting. One moment friendly, the next, not so much. The contrast between them and Reed made the story interesting. Much of this first book sets the stage for the series, I get the feeling that something more is going on at this school below the surface, but we never quite find out what. Which makes me dying to read the next book and I am now anxiously awaiting it. Private is a great read if you want something a little more dark than your average YA private school novel. I'm glad I found out about this series and look forward to reading more by Kate Brian.

About the Book:

Tradition, Honor, Excellence...and secrets so dark they're almost invisible

Fifteen-year-old Reed Brennan wins a scholarship to Easton Academy -- the golden ticket away from her pill-popping mother and run-of-the-mill suburban life. But when she arrives on the beautiful, tradition-steeped campus of Easton, everyone is just a bit more sophisticated, a bit more gorgeous, and a lot wealthier than she ever thought possible. Reed realizes that even though she has been accepted to Easton, Easton has not accepted her. She feels like she's on the outside, looking in.

Until she meets the Billings Girls.

They are the most beautiful, intelligent, and intensely confident girls on campus. And they know it. They hold all the power in a world where power is fleeting but means everything. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle.

Reed uses every part of herself -- the good, the bad, the beautiful -- to get closer to the Billings Girls. She quickly discovers that inside their secret parties and mountains of attitude, hanging in their designer clothing-packed closets the Billings Girls have skeletons. And they'll do anything to keep their secrets private.