by: Robin McKinley

Published: 2008

# of pages: 272

First of all I have to say, I love the cover illustration on this book! It's hard to see in the picture, but it really is gorgeous! THIS LINK takes you to the artists' website.

Other than that, I was disappointed in the book. McKinley is one of my favorite authors of all time. The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown are the 2 books that drew me into the world of fantasy. Before then I had never had a desire to read fantasy and the few fantasy books I had read I didn't enjoy because they were too unrealistic. haha! Beauty and Sunshine are 2 of my all time favorite books as well. So I had high expectations for Chalice, but I thought the narration style of the book was boring and confusing.

The story is told from the point of view of the main character, Marisol. The narrative is mainly her thoughts that ramble on and are repetitive. There isn't nearly as much dialogue in this novel as there is in most books. I felt like this really hindered my enjoyment of the story. The plot is interesting, but the narrative took away from it.

The story is about Marisol, an orphaned young woman whose world is turned upside down when the master of the estate she lives and works on as a beekeeper dies. She is chosen to be the new Chalice, cup bearer, of the new master. She is part of a circle of people who help keep the land intact with magic, otherwise it will fall apart and be destroyed.

If it isn't enough that Marisol has been thrown into this position, the new master is in an identical predicament. Both the master and Marisol work hard to keep the land together and keep the people satisfied. Everything seems to be going fine until the overlord of the lands gets involved and chooses an heir for the master to train. Things quickly go downhill and it's up to Marisol to save the day.

I appreciated the story and the magical world that McKinley created. However, I just couldn't get over the repetitiveness of the narration and the lack of dialogue. I felt that I couldn't really get to know the characters.

This book is classified as a young adult book, but I feel like it is more of an adult book. Not because the content is mature, it just isn't your typical young adult book. Even the main character is an adult, she isn't a teenager. I recommend this book to people who really love fantasy. I think the redeeming factor is the unique magic structure that is in the story, something that will appeal to lovers of the fantasy genre.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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I'm starting late! However, since I'm just about to start reading a book that qualifies, I might as well join. I always mean to do this every year, but I always remember too late! Next year I'm determined to participate more.

The "rules":

"There are two simple goals to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge:

1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

As I do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. IV without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives.

R.I.P. IV officially runs from September 1st through October 31st.

Dark Fantasy.

I'm doing Peril the Third: one book.

Haunting Bombay by: Shilpa Agarwal

However, I do have some other books on my TBR list that qualify for this challenge, I just won't have enough time to finish them for the challenge.

Her Fearful Symmetry by: Audrey Niffenegger
The Historian by: Elizabeth Kostova
The Terror by: Dan Simmons

and countless others...I'm too lazy to go find my list!

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by: Ann Brashares

Series: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Book 1

Challenges: YA Challenge, First in a Series Challenge

Published: 2001

# of pages: 352

Quote: "As the fluffy plot progressed, Margaret looked over at them so many times, checking excitedly for their reactions, that Tibby wondered, with a swelling sadness in her throat, how many of the ten thousand movies Margaret had watched with another person." -Tibby p. 167

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I expected it to be very shallow and nothing special as far as the writing quality. However, I thought it was a pretty deep book for being a modern young adult novel that is geared towards teenage girls. I was also impressed with the quality of writing. It still wasn't anything special, just better than I thought. I liked how every once in awhile something would stick out at me. Brashares included small but significant insights throughout the novel.

The story follows 4 teenage girls, best friends, who spend their first summer apart. Each of the girls has a unique personality. Lena is shy and quiet, Bridget is outgoing, Camren is forceful and outspoken, while Tibby is moody. I related to Lena and Tibby more than I thought I would. Their personalities and their thoughts match up to mine so much. That was part of the reason I enjoyed the book as much as I did.

I watched the movie years ago when it was in theatres and enjoyed that as well. The movie closely follows the book, but I didn't feel bored while reading the book. The movie doesn't capture much of the "deep" insights that are in the book. Also, I'm surprised that the movie doesn't include the scene with Lena's and Kostos' grandfathers. I think that would have been a funny thing to see in the movie. I suppose that the movie makes Lena's and Kostos' "relationship" more romantic than the book, but I think the book is more realistic.

Another thing I enjoyed about the book is the humorous quotes included before each chapter. I found myself looking forward to a new chapter to see what it would be. I didn't always see a connection between the quote and the events in the chapter, but it was fun nonetheless.

This is a fun read for both young adults and adults alike. Even if you aren't always a fan of modern young adult fiction, I encourage you to try it if it seems at all like something you could handle reading. You just might be surprised like I was.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours.

Catching Fire

Catching Fire
by: Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2

Published: 2009

# of pages: 400

This is the sequel to The Hunger Games. So often I don't enjoy sequels or subsequent books in a series as much as the first book, but this is an exception. I found this book to be just as engrossing as the first!

The story continues to follow Katniss as she returns home from the Hunger Games. Collins does an amazing job with further character development in Catching Fire. Although the first part of this novel is just bringing the reader up to date on Katniss, Gale, Peeta, and the other characters, it's still action packed and keeps you hooked. The story is completely unpredictable and you won't be able to put this book down! And just to warn you... you will be left hanging at the end. I can't wait for the third book to come out!!!! Which I read it will be another fall 2010. :-(

I find the whole concept of these books to be fascinating. Thinking of reality TV ever going so far as it does in this series is chilling. Also, the Capitol strongly reminds me of modern America. The waste, the preoccupation with appearances and material possessions, the lack of concern for other people... These books are not only entertaining, they also make me stop and think about what I take for granted, what entertainment is to me, and how am I like the people from the Capitol that Katniss comes into contact with?

Overall I highly recommend this to all young adults and adults.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.
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Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
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