Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott Book Review

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
(Simon Pulse, Paperback)


Ok, so I'm a sucker for a book with a great cover. I know what they say about judging a book, but in this case, I wasn't wrong. This was a great read! Lauren is in high school and her life seems perfect. She's got a popular best friend and she's got the perfect boyfriend. But sometimes perfect isn't all that great and Elizabeth Scott does a wonderful job tackling this issue. Lauren feels like she's missing out on things, including sex. Then, Evan Kirkland arrives on the scene. Evan is the son of Lauren's dad's short, he and Lauren sort-of grew up together for a few years. Evan is not perfect and he appears to be just what Lauren needs. I really enjoyed this book because I think we all get in situations where we want things to be perfect and Scott shows that it's more important to choose your own path than to be unhappy in a seemingly perfect relationship. Elizabeth Scott is definitely an author that I'm going to watch out for in the future.

Tithe & Ironside by Holly Black Book Review

Tithe by Holly Black
(Simon Pulse, Paperback)

Don't we all just love a good fairy tale?
How about a twisted, dark one with a wonderfully flawed heroine? This isn't a watered down fairy tale where the princess is beautiful and the evil witch is easily vanquished. Kaye is a realistically flawed heroine who skips school and attracts the wrong kind of guys. When she accidentally binds a faery to her by learning his real name, Kaye finds herself in the middle of a faery war that threatens to take her life. My favorite part about this book was Kaye herself. The heroines in most books are always perfect...perfect clothes, perfect looks, and perfect families. Kaye's mom is in a not-very-good rock band and so Kaye has spent her life traveling around, skipping school and taking care of her mom. I also really liked Kaye's friend, Corny. Which brings me to my review of Ironside, the sequel to Tithe...

Ironside by Holly Black
(Margaret K. McElderry, Hardcover)


I have to say that I enjoyed Tithe more than I enjoyed Ironside and it was mostly because Roiben, the faery who tells Kaye his name, doesn't have as big a role. (I totally had a crush on Roiben after reading Tithe). Instead, the focus was a little more on Kaye's friend Corny. Corny is a great character because he's also troubled...he's gay and, as a result, had some bad experiences with faeries in Tithe. But in Ironside, he's trying to face his fear (and fascination) of faeries and loyally helps Kaye on her quest to save her faery friends. This book is definitely worth reading if you like Tithe...and you should also try Holly Black's other novel, Valiant, which has a cameo appearance by some of the characters in Tithe.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
(Yearling Books, Paperback)

In light of the fall release of the The Golden Compass movie, I decided to post a
review on the book by Philip Pullman. I read this book along with the other two in His Dark Materials trilogy and really enjoyed them. My favorite part was that in Lyra's world, everyone has a visible "soul" that takes the shape of an animal and this is called your daemon. Lyra's daemon is called Pantalaimon. The adventure begins when Lyra and Pan, as he is known, travel north to rescue children that have been kidnapped. This is a great read because it has a unique, adventurous plot. If you like fantasy and adventure, I think you'll like this book. And it's great for boys and girls because Lyra (a girl) and Pan (a boy) are both main characters.

To see the movie trailer and meet your own daemon, go to Here's my daemon...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Rating System

So, in order to bring a little order to my reviews, I am making up a rating system. I've seen it on other blogs and find it helpful. Feel free to email me with any questions. emsbookshelf (at) gmail (dot) com

One Star: I am not so enthusiastic about the book. It may have some good points (like, thank goodness it ended after only 100 pages), but it doesn't stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Two Stars: This book has some really great moments, but suffers at a few places. Maybe a certain character isn't built up enough or the plot is wildly unbelievable. Overall, though, the book is a good read.

Three Stars: I couldn't put this book down. This is a book that I want to tell all my friends about.

Four Stars: This is highly entertaining and literary in a way that keeps me thinking long after I've finished reading. This is one that I will want to re-read over and over again and that I'll keep forever.

Five Stars: A book that receives Five Stars is one of my all-time favorite books. It has an engaging plot, superbly written characters, and is a standout in teen literature. Definitely worthy of awards and accolades.