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In Which I Play Catch Up: Read-a-thon Reviews

April 20, 2011

Since I’m ridiculously behind in reviews, I think it’s time for another round (or two) of mini-reviews. These are all the books I read at some point during the Spring 24hr Read-a-thon.

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
I’ve been a big fan of the Shopaholic books for years, so when when I heard there was a new one coming out, I was a pretty freaking excited. I know that in the past Becky has annoyed me with her lies and inability to own up to things, but I always come around and laughed right along side her. This time, it seemed to take much longer for me to warm up to Becky. But once I did, I found the last half of the book wonderful and funny and everything I love about the Shopaholic series. I know I will read any more Shopaholic book Kinsella comes out with. And by how this one ended, another book seems very likely. If you’ve read and liked the Shopaholic books in the past, I definitely recommend reading this one. If you’re new to Kinsella, read either Confessions of a Shopaholic or, my personal favourite, Twenties Girl.

My rating: 7.5/10

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Illustrations by Camille Rose Garcia)
I had never before in my life read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and one of my first thoughts was “This is nothing like the movie!” Which, honestly, shouldn’t have surprised me. However, it wasn’t just the story that was different. Garcia’s illustrations gave everything a much creepier edge, which I actually liked.

Between the classic story and the great illustrations, this was a fantastic read-a-thon pick.

My rating: 8/10

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman
When I put together my Characters With Disabilities list last year, this was one of the first books I added. That list has been sadly neglected, so I’m happy I finally got to reading Stuck in Neutral. So, Shawn has cerebral palsy and absolutely zero muscle control. The outside world has assumed that nothing is going on inside and that Shawn is living a life of pain from his constant seizures. However, the reader knows differently. Throughout Stuck in Neutral Shawn shares his life, his dreams, and his reaction to learning his father wants to “end his pain.” Just over 100 pages long, here is a lot of stuff packed in there and it’s a book you’ll want to talk about long after you’ve finished. I can’t wait to read the companion book, Cruise Control.

My rating: 8/10

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
I had been wanting to read this book ever since I first spotted its pretty cover in a bookstore. Cherry blossoms will always win me over. I finally got it a couple months ago, and saved it specially for the read-a-thon. Needless to say, by the time I finally cracked it open my expectations were pretty high. All I really feel I can say about it is that it was a lovely, understated story. It didn’t blow me away and it didn’t suck my in with any kind of plot tension . It’s a book that you want to take your time with and savour, so probably not the best for the read-a-thon, when I’m anxiously trying to read as fast as possible. Still, an enjoyable book about a sweet, unorthodox friendship.

My rating: 8/10

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2011 2:12 am

    Great minis. I really need to try Twenties Girl.

  2. April 20, 2011 10:01 am

    I love the Alice and Wonderland cover!!! SO COOL! I recently saw the same cover as The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa on Merilyn Simonds new book, “A New Leaf” – which was fabulous btw :)

  3. April 20, 2011 12:14 pm

    I read Alice in Wonderland a few years back and thought the same thing – it’s just like the movie! I haven’t read a Shopaholic book in a while but I remember enjoying them too.

  4. April 20, 2011 5:59 pm

    That edition of Alice looks beautiful! I know everyone loves the Tenniel illustrations, and I do too of course! but from what I’ve seen of the Camille Rose Garcia pictures, she nails it.

  5. April 23, 2011 8:33 am

    The cover of your version of Alice took me by surprise!! Really cruious what the rest of the illustrations look like. The movie is a bit of a smush between the first Alice book and the second (Though the Looking Glass) but still several changes. Glad you enjoyed the read!!!

  6. April 24, 2011 6:21 am

    Enjoyed the mini-reviews. I love Alice in Wonderland – really do, and have had the Ogawa on my reading list for aaaages.

  7. May 2, 2011 1:13 pm

    I love the cover of that version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It seems so fitting to me, kind of has that creepy-weird edge to it like the stories. Glad you liked Housekeeper and the Professor. I’ve read that one twice now and really enjoyed it both times.

  8. May 3, 2011 2:04 pm

    Stuck in Neutral quickly opened my eyes to the YA genre. I never would have read it, but it came highly recommended. And I have to say “Bravo”

    Really nice piece of work. I liked how it portrayed a person with disabilities. To me, this should be a required read for middle school…

    I think it could possibly open others eyes, we are all living, and thriving human beings..
    One story I will never forget.

  9. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 8, 2011 7:08 pm

    So glad you liked The Housekeeper & the Professor. Loved the sweet story.

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