Sunday, November 27, 2005

Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom)--Garth Nix

Oh Garth Nix, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways....
1. Sabriel 2. Lirael 3. Abhorsen 4. Mister Monday 5. Grim Tuesday 6. Drowned Wednesday.

I devoured Drowned Wednesday in just a couple of days. Arthur is at the hospital recupperating from a broken leg and telling Leaf all about his crazy adventures in the House when he decides to be proactive, return to the House and deal with Wednesday instead of waiting for her (she had already sent him an invitation to lunch that he couldn't refuse and claimed that transportation was arranged). Just when he decides not to wait for Wednesday's transportation and to do something instead of be vulnerable, his hospital room is flooded and he and Leaf are transported to a huge sea. Leaf is picked up by the ship meant for Arthur, but Arthur is stranded on his hospital bed. He manages to get picked up by a salvage ship, but not before disturbing some buried treasure and being marked with "the red hand" so he can't escape the wrath of the pirate who "owns" the treasure. Arthur must defeat the pirate, rescue Leaf, confront Drowned Wednesday, find the Third Part of the Will, get the Third Key, and save a whole bunch of lives before Wednesday is over.

This is a great adventure series that should appeal to loads of people. There's the familiar story of a boy who has been chosen to save the world when all he wants is to be left alone, but there's so much more to it. There's a lot of depth that older readers will appreciate. There's humor. Arthur is a very likeable character (did I say that last time?). I can't wait for the rest of this series!
On My Nightstand: Girls Dinner Club--Jessie Elliot

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Boyfriend List--E. Lockhart

Fifteen year old Ruby has everything going for her, a group of best friends, a perfect boyfriend, interesting albeit annoying parents, and then she loses it all (except the parents) and has panic attacks instead. Trying to figure out what went wrong, Ruby starts therapy and comes up with the reason: boys. She comes up with a list of all her boyfriends, even the ones that were imagined and unofficial and crushes from afar.

Ruby (Roo) is a funny typical boy-obsessed teenage girl. At times she is shallow and self-centered, and other times she really is the victim of her cruel peers. Her best friend is right that she was not meant to be with her "perfect boyfriend" (I thought his unique valentine's gift--half a carnation--was nice, but Roo wanted the everyday roses and didn't see the value in being different) but that doesn't mean her best friend should go out with him! What kind of a friend is that? Roo is not the nicest to her friends either--she snubs the only friends who really appreciate her. But she comes around in the end.

I liked The Boyfriend List. Roo is a likeable character, even with her faults. There were a couple of times when I was confused as to what was happening when, but no more confused than when I talk to real teenage girls.... and I think it was more a problem with my mommy brain than with the writing. It all made sense in the end. :-)

I think high school girls will appreciate the story more--they have more of a history with boys than middle school girls. Although middle schoolers are getting just as cliquey as high schoolers, and they are definitely into boys, it just reads more like a high school book. And there are some references to certain, um, acts, that I hope middle schoolers don't know. Although these days, you never can tell. I'm reading this with my high school book group in January so we'll see what they say...

Reading: Drowned Wednesday--Garth Nix
On My Nightstand: Girls Dinner Club--Jessie Elliot

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Grim Tuesday--Garth Nix

I finished the second book in The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix last night. It took a little while for me to get into it. It wasn't as initially gripping as the first one was, but once the story picked up, I liked it.

Arthur thinks he can just go home and rest when he's done with Mister Monday, but once Tuesday hits he's faced with a whole new challenge! Grim Tuesday is the wielder of the Second Key and a cruel slave-driver. He's opened a pit to Nothing so that he can copy great works of art and sell them to the other Days. He's a cruel master and things are not going well. He tries to trick Arthur into handing over the First Key and Mastery of the Lower House by claiming that Monday owes him for all of the "stuff" he's given him over the centuries and that Arthur must repay Monday's debt. Arthur doesn't fall for it and is sent to the Pit. He must escape the Pit, find the second part of the Will, claim the Second Key, battle Grim Tuesday and control the leaking Nothing before he can even think about going home.

I can't wait to start Drowned Wednesday and I think Thursday comes out in March. This is a really unique series and there's so much in it on so many different levels. I highly recommend...

Reading: Dunno yet
On My Nightstand: Girls Dinner Club--Jessie Elliot, others are coming

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