Archive for the ‘4.5 Cupcakes’ Category

Guardian of the Dead

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

By Karen Healey [LibraryThingGoodreads]

High school student Ellie’s life is fairly normal, until she agrees to help out with a play at the local university, thanks to the urging of her best friend, Kevin. But someone else in the play has her sights set on Kevin – someone not quite human – and suddenly Ellie finds herself navigating the world of the New Zealand supernatural armed only with a magic mask and the help of the mysterious Mark (on whom Ellie just happens to have an enormous crush). As Ellie discovers that the mythology of her homeland is all too real, she finds that that selfsame mythology is threatening to destroy New Zealand – and that she may be the only person left who can stop it.

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Bookathon: My Teacher is an Alien

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Book Eight
Starting Time: 6:44
Ending Time: 7:47

Title: My Teacher is an Alien
Author: Bruce Coville
Genre: Aliens Among Us
Pages: 123

Summary: Susan doesn’t like the substitute teacher who’s taken over her sixth grade class — and she finds out he’s not just strict, he’s an alien! Now she and Peter, the smartest kid in class, have only a few days to expose him, before he kidnaps some of their classmates and takes them off to space forever.

Thoughts: What is there to even say? Bruce Coville is the reason I love reading, and the reason I love sf/f in particular. This was the most formative series of my childhood. The first book is pretty light and silly (the end of the series is quite a bit heavier), and utterly delightful.

Four and a half cupcakes.

Bookathon: Amalia, Diary 1

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

Book Nine
Starting Time: 12:38 pm
Ending Time: 1:21 pm

Title: California Diaries: Amalia, Diary 1
Author: Ann M. Martin
Genre: Teen drama llama
Pages: 180
Summary: Amalia starts volunteering with her sister at a women’s shelter, while dealing with an abusive boyfriend of her own.
Thoughts: I like Amalia, and THANK GOD that for once someone in a BSC-universe series actually deals with a dangerous situation in an appropriate fashion. Amalia breaks up with James pretty much the moment he almost hits her, and doesn’t confuse “fighting her own battles” with “confronting him alone like a moron.” This is paralleled really well with the shelter story, which a) shows how hard it is for battered women to accept that they need to leave their abusive husbands/boyfriends, b) points out the importance of restraining orders, calling the police, and in general being prepared and safe, and c) makes the heartbreaking point that the law often doesn’t do enough to protect women. All very well done, and actually brought a couple of tears to my eyes. (Which was why the total bullshit ending made me throw the book across the room. YOU NEED TO TELL THE POLICE OR AT LEAST THE PRINCIPAL THAT YOUR EX-BOYFRIEND IS A SOCIOPATHIC STALKER.)

Four and a half cupcakes

Well Witched

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Well Witched By Francis Hardinge [LibraryThingAmazon]

Ryan, Josh, and Chelle don’t think much of it when they steal a few coins from a wishing well for bus fare back home. But to steal the coins from a well spirit is to take on her obligation of granting wishes, and soon the kids find themselves developing the powers to do just that – from the eyes on Ryan’s knuckles that see things they shouldn’t, to Chelle’s newfound ability to speak the thoughts of strangers, to Josh’s sudden affinity with electromagnetism. It’s then that they find that the wishes people make in their hearts are infinitely darker and more dangerous than the ones they speak aloud, and that the changes the well witch has wrought in them go deeper than they think.

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Skulduggery Pleasant 2 By Derek Landy [LibraryThingAmazon]

Ever since helping to save the world, Valkryie Cain (once plain old Stephanie Edgeley) has been receiving training in magic, combat, and detective work from the undead gumshoe Skulduggery Pleasant and his extremely colorful associates. Now one of Skulduggery’s old enemies is back, intent on awakening his evil gods – and Valkryie is a major part of his plan. In order to foil the plot, Valkryie must fight her way through centuries-old enmities, corruption at the highest level, and more than one sociopathic killer with a mad-on for Valkryie herself.

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Old-School Review: The Nina Tanleven Series (The Ghost in the Third Row, The Ghost Wore Gray, The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed)

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

We’re introducing a new feature at Active Voice! Usually we review books that have come out in the past couple of years, but with our Old-School Reviews we’ll be talking about the books from our childhood and before. Our first Old-School Review features the fantastic Mr. Bruce Coville.

The Ghost in the Third Row By Bruce Coville [Coville at LibraryThingBook One at Amazon; Book Two at Amazon; Book Three at Amazon]

Nina “Nine” Tanleven is thrilled to be performing in a local play, but the excitement gets to be a little too much when she and her new friend Chris both start seeing the Woman in White, a ghost who may be trying to sabotage the show. And the adventures don’t stop there, because exposure to the Woman in White has made the girls more sensitive to ghosts, and they soon find themselves solving mysteries about Confederate soldiers and mad painters, hidden treasures and lost masterpieces…and more than a little bit of danger.

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Old Review Roundup

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Before we get started, here, some older reviews I’ve done, relevant to this site:

The City of Ember and The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau. Five cupcakes, and a friggin’ cherry on top. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Uglies, Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfeld. Four and a half cupcakes for Uglies, three and a half for the other two. (Genre: Apocalyptic/Dystopian Science Fiction)

Bruce Coville novels, including the My Teacher series, The A.I. Gang, The Dragonslayers, The Nina Tanleven Ghost Series, and The Magic Shop series. I’d say the average rating is about four cupcakes. (Genres: Aliens Among Us, Other, High Fantasy, Contemporary/Urban Fantasy, and Fairy Tale/Mythic)

Pendragon, books one and two, by D.J. MacHale. Two cupcakes. (Genre: Portal Fantasy.)

Meta talk about writing and books:

Fantasy Females (Of the Literary Variety), about the roles female characters play in fantasy.

Seriously, What is Wrong With Cinderella?, about Disney princesses, ideas about how to keep female characters dynamic, and a little bit of repeated review of Pendragon.