Posts Tagged ‘Bunnybean

09
Feb
16

Story and characters pretty good. Editing not so much. CBR8 review 8.

UnknownNow that Bunnybean is tearing her way through the Lunar Chronicles books, I figured I might as well try and finish up the last book (I don’t count the new book of “related short stories” that just came out), Winter.

I wasn’t all that excited about reading it, to be honest. I loved Cinder and Scarlet, and really liked Cress. And then I read Fairest. And I despised it. It really almost ruined the entire series for me. It was so heavy-handed and annoying, I honestly didn’t care about any of it anymore.

And I have mixed feelings about Winter, now that I’m finally done.

As this is the last book in the series, I’m too tired to explain what’s going on. If you’ve read these books, great, keep reading. If not, stop reading this, and go out and read Cinder. You won’t regret it.

What did I like? Well, the basic plot was fine. We needed some closure on all of the main characters, and of course we needed to make sure that something terrible was going to happen to nasty Queen Levana. And we got all of that.

All of our main characters, plus a few new ones, stood up to various evils in order to bring down Levana and bring harmony to relations between Earth and the Lunar colony. Seriously, something terrible was thrown at our heroes pretty much every chapter, and yet, they kept at it, never stopping until Cinder (aka Princess Selene) is able to take her rightful place on the Lunar throne.

I liked that nothing came easy to this bunch, and that Cinder and her friends end up making a lot of mistakes along their way, mistakes that even end up costing the lives of some of their allies. And that they actually learned something from these mistakes, and changed their approach to getting Cinder on the throne.

And I’ll be honest…while I really didn’t much care about whether or not Cinder and Kai or Scarlet and Wolf ended up together, I was nervous about Cress and Thorne. I’m glad we got a happy ending for those two.

What didn’t I like?

Well. How much time do you have?

First of all, Princess Winter. All of it.* Ridiculous. No.

This was a character that I understood the need for, but just didn’t work for me. And Jacin? Yes, I get that they’ve been friends forever. And I understand that she’s a beautiful princess. But their romance was really just a bit icky.

*I will give Winter a pass on one subplot — the alliance of the wolves to the rebels. This was actually ok.

But my major problem with this book was the editing. This book was over 800 pages long, and it felt like it. There were plot points that were repeated again and again (really, how many times can characters wonder about whether or not they should escape in tunnels? Or how many times do we need to be told that Levana is using her lunar gift to manipulate the masses? SO MANY TIMES, I GUESS.), and entire scenes that were completely unnecessary. If it had been half as long, I think I would have liked it a lot more.

Sloppy details bugged me so much. On one page, we have Scarlet, recently rescued from the menagerie. She hasn’t bathed or done laundry in ages and her trademark red hoodie is filthy. When she meets up with her friends, she is constantly fidgeting with her hoodie strings. They offer to wash her dirty sweatshirt, and then put it in the laundry. Over the next few pages, Scarlet is STILL described as playing with the hoodie strings in great detail. And then the clean sweatshirt is given back to her. So messy and such bad editing. If Scarlet had just left her hoodie alone, we could have cut 25 pages.

Sad that such a wonderful story ended on such a low note. I’m glad I read Winter, but wish it had been a stronger entry in the series.

 

 

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23
Feb
14

Bunnybean’s #CBR6 Review 2: A Haunting in Williamsburg by Lou Kassem

511WICGRmcL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_In school, my teacher just read this book to us. Its about a girl named Jayne, who just moved from California to Williamsburg, Virginia. Her parents work for the government and have to move around a lot, which is hard for Jayne.

Her parents have to go away for the whole summer, so Jayne goes to live with aunt Liz. Aunt Liz works at a hospital, and she DOESNT believe in ghosts.

Jayne meets a real ghost inside Aunt Liz’s house, who was part of her family during the Revolutionary War. The ghost’s name is Sally, and she and Jayne have a lot in common. Sally tells Jayne about their family history: Her brother, Jeremiah, was a spy for the colonies. He had a special silver coin to prove that he was a spy. Sally was hoping to marry Colin, but Colin lived far away, in British territory. Jeremiah went to Colin’s house, and Colin gave him a ring and a love letter for Sally, asking her to meet him in Baltimore so that they could be together. But for Colin to get to Baltimore, he would need a silver coin like Jeremiah’s, and he didn’t have one. Jeremiah gives Colin his coin and heads home to Sally. Jeremiah is stopped by American soldiers, who think he is British because he doesn’t have his coin, and they shoot him dead. So Sally never got to Baltimore and Colin never got to marry her.

Later in the book, Jayne meets one of Colin’s descendants, a man named Dr. McNeil. Jayne finds Colin’s original letter and ring, and offers it to Dr. McNeil for his family history, but Dr. McNeil tells her to give them to Sally, instead.

Jayne gives the letter and ring to Sally, which makes Sally happy and makes her feel complete. She won’t have any need to haunt anymore.

This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed the way my teacher read it, and probably wouldn’t have liked it as much if I had read it on my own. We live in Virginia and we are studying colonial history, so that part was interesting.

 

21
Jan
14

Bunnybean’s #CBR6 Review 1: Wonder by RJ Palacio

Unknown-1I got this book for Christmas (my mom read it last year and recommended it to me). I really liked it.

Its about a boy named August (his family calls him Auggie) who has facial abnormalities. We don’t ever know exactly what’s wrong with him, but the book gives us a lot of clues when describing his eyes, ears, and mouth. Other kids are sometimes afraid of him and usually not very nice to him.

At the beginning, his mother tells him that he’ll be starting middle school (5th grade) at a new school, and he’s never been to school before. He meets a few kids who aren’t too bad — Summer and Jack seem like they could be good friends — but he also meets Julian, who is a real bully.

Auggie’s favorite holiday is Halloween, because he gets to put a mask on and spend the day like a regular kid. But this year, his Halloween is ruined when he overhears Jack making fun of him with Julian. (It turns out to be a big misunderstanding, but Auggie feels really depressed).

The book is told from the voice of all different characters — not just Auggie, but Jack, Summer, and Auggie’s sister and her friends, too. They don’t have a lot in common, but they all care about Auggie and they all notice that he’s special on the inside. He’s a great kid: funny, smart, and caring, and he’s always willing to stand up for his friends and for what’s right.

Almost everyone in the story ends up realizing that there’s more to Auggie than how he looks. Even some of the kids who were mean to him at the beginning become his friends and his defenders.

There are some really sad parts (characters die who are important to Auggie), and some of the bullying — from both the kids AND their parents — was hard to read. But overall, the book made me happy.

The book really teaches us all that you should be nice to everyone, no matter how they look on the outside. We’re all the same on the inside, and that’s whats important.

29
Sep
13

Bunnybean’s #CBR5 Review 10: Chrissa by Mary Casanova

Unknown-3I read Chrissa, a book based on the 2009 American Girl doll of the year. It is about a girl named Chrissa and how she stood up to a group of mean bullies at her new school.

She’s the new girl, first of all, which must be so hard. Some mean girls named Tara (the head of the group), Jadyn (who follows along with everything and is sassy), and Sonali (who hates to be mean or hurt anyone but she is Tara’s best friend) gang up on Chrissa for no reason. Chrissa hates her new school. The only good thing she likes about it is that she made a new friend, Gwen, who Tara says is also a loser and they could both create their own little goofy club.

To make matters worse, Tara CUTS Gwen’s hair when Gwen closes her eyes. Then she lied that Chrissa was the one who gave such a terrible trim to Gwen’s bangs. Gwen didn’t even talk to Chrissa anymore, she was so angry! Until Chrissa finally told her parents everything, and her parents talk to the principal and teachers at the school, getting the mean girls in a bit of trouble. Sonali even quits being friends with the “mean bees”, and became friends with Chrissa and Gwen!

I liked Sonali, because she did what her heart told her to, Gwen because she was a good friend, and Chrissa because was strong and was a great main character. I watched the movie and I’m going to read the second book soon.

15
Sep
13

Bunnybean’s #CBR5 Review 9: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Unknown-6I read the third book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series: The Titan’s Curse.

Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover are sent on a mission to find two new half-bloods at a boarding school in New Hampshire. Something goes wrong, there is a battle, and they are rescued by Artemis and her hunters. But Annabeth is kidnapped and may be in terrible danger, and it’s up to Percy and his friends to save her.

The goddess Artemis is also captured by someone that Percy and his gang don’t know. The half-bloods need to save Artemis and Annabeth, and stop a new villain called The General and their old enemy Luke from getting their evil army stronger.

Back at the camp, the students receive a prophecy that states:

Five shall go west to the goddess in chains,
One shall be lost in the land without rain,
The bane of Olympus shows the trail,
Campers and Hunters combined prevail,
The Titan’s curse must one withstand,
And one shall be perished by a parent’s  hand.

The students who are sent on the quest are: Zoe and Bianca (two of Artemis’ best hunters), Grover, and Thalia. Even though Percy isn’t chosen, he tags along anyways. He really wants to save Annabeth.

It was hard to save Annabeth and Artemis, though.

Atlas was the person who captured them both. He made Artemis hold the universe for him, and he threatened that if she didn’t hold it, he would kill Annabeth. He wanted to get revenge on the gods. But Percy and his friends came along and saved them.

Sadly, only 3 people survived on this quest: Grover, Percy, and Thalia. Bianca sacrificed herself for the quest. And Zoe turned out to be Atlas’ daughter, who was killed in the battle against him.

But the quest had succeeded! And all is well until the next book, The Battle of the Labyrinth.

05
Aug
13

Bunnybean’s CBR5 Review 8: Awesome Blossom by Lauren Myracle

Unknown-2I read this book from our public library. It’s about the four flower friends (Milla, Yasaman, Katie-Rose, and Violet), their year at school, and great big secrets: Milla’s going to go on a date with Max, Yasaman accidently kind of read a secret loveletter between her two teachers, and Katie-Rose is going crazy because she keeps getting mysterious stuffed hegehogs in weird places!

And why is the new girl (Hayley) hanging out with the “three evil chicks” from school? (Modessa, Quin, and Elena)?!  Violet dosen’t know what’s happening with all her friends!

Milla’s date at the Olive Garden turns out really weird. Katie-Rose and her family come to the Olive Garden too, and Preston (a boy from class) really likes Katie-Rose so he makes the waitress give Katie-Rose the first mysterious hedgehog with her meal.

But the whole thing turns out really fine. Milla and Max have a great time, Preston just really loved Katie-Rose, and Hayley promises not to hang out with the bullies anymore. Everyone’s happy at the end. This is part of a series of books about the Flower Friends. I would like to read all of these books, and I really enjoyed reading it.

22
Jul
13

Bunnybean’s #CBR5 Review 7: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

UnknownI listened to this audio book on the way to our family’s beach trip on Cape Cod. Its the second book about a boy named Percy Jackson (I already reviewed book one of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief), who goes on a quest to save his beloved camp, Camp Half-Blood. Percy is the son of Poseidon, and Camp Half-Blood is a place where all of the children of the Greek Gods can live in safety.

Thalia’s magical tree that protects the camp’s borders from monsters is dying, and the magic is slowly fading away. And that means that there is no safe place for the half-bloods anymore. Percy and his friends Annabeth and Tyson (as well as Percy’s enemy Clarisse, daughter of Ares) go on a dangerous journey to save their old friend Grover, who knows where the famous Golden Fleece is. The Fleece is the only thing in the world that can cure Thalia’s magic pine tree.

Luke, a villain from the first book, is the one who poisoned the tree. He’s also trying to raise an army to destroy all of the half-bloods and the Gods on Mount Olympus.

Meanwhile, Polyphemus, a terrible cyclops, has captured Grover the satyr. Grover needs help and can also lead his friends to the Fleece.

While on their quest, the demigods face many terrible monsters, such as the hydra, the sirens, and Charybdis and Scylla. They travel on many different boats, and all of the either got lost, blew up, or sunk.

In the end, the get the Fleece and save Grover. The Fleece cures Thalia’s tree, and turns her into a regular girl again (she is the daughter of Zeus).

I really liked the new character of Tyson, a baby cyclops, who turns out to the Percy’s baby brother and new friend. I also liked Annabeth, Percy, and Chiron the centaur who helps to save Percy and get back to the camp.

I liked this book a lot and am already reading the third one!




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