Harrys Wondrous World

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole

“Watch your six, Reaper, I’m on the hunt.”
A rasping chuckle. -Your Death awaits.-

-Page 368

Poison Princess cover Summary

“22 Arcana cards. 22 Chosen Teens. Let the cards fall where they may.

Sixteen-year-old Evie Greene’s horrific hallucinations predicted the apocalypse, and the end of the world brought her all sorts of new powers. With the earth scorched and few survivors, Evie teams up with handsome and dangerous Jack Deveaux in a race to find answers. They discover that that an ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens have been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side… “

-From Kresley Cole’s website.

Review

Okay, this is just going to be an absolutely love fest. Because this book was absolutely fantastic! It was nothing like any of the other YA books I have read and it was just so well written. I will start off by saying that this is definitely an older YA book because of certain themes as well as some of the violent content. There are no curse words, and the few curse words that are used, Cole cleverly changes up so that she switches letters around to make the word something different. If you know the word then you’ll know what it should be, but if you don’t, it will just look like some made up curse word, which is extremely clever.

The violence in the book is a little graphic at times. Especially when it jumps to the present day. How the story is set up is that the main character, Evangeline, is telling the story to someone who welcomes her into the home and by the end of the story, the past has been told and her arriving in the home is the present and that is where the book ends to set up for the next book in the series. Parts of the themes in the book, especially the guy who she is telling the story to in the present, is extremely creepy and pulled on some nasty themes. There are a lot of implications of rape, though nothing happens. A younger reader wouldn’t completely get that but as an older reader, you know exactly what is being implied. Then the guy who she is telling the story to, think of like one of the creepier episodes of Criminal Minds (I hope most people know this show) and think of how twisted they get with dungeons and torture. That is kind what the guy is like, so it gets a little brutal.

Now the rest of the story is just lots of apocalypse stuff. Something happens, called The Flash, and everything goes to shit, essentially. You’re never clear exactly what The Flash was, but you’re told it was a solar flare, though it’s never clear exactly what caused it, and leaves questions to be answered later on in the series. Out in the world, there are some horrible people, and some nasty themes brought up again. Mentions of cannibalism as well as the enslavement of women too. It seems like during The Flash, when most people were killed, a lot of them were women, so women were scarce, so they were wanted by slavers and stuff. Younger readers would just think that women were special though older readers would know exactly what was going on.

The two main characters, Evangeline and Jackson, are traveling together and it follows them from when they met before The Flash to surviving together after it. There is some great character development between the two of them and a lot of advances as well as steps back too, though I did sometimes want to smack Jackson so damn hard. There was definitely some sexual undertones going on, sometimes a little more prevalent, so you can definitely say that there is a romance theme to the book, but it is by no means a major theme in the book at all.

I also really like the fact that this is called The Arcana Chronicles. I have never once read a book about the Arcana cards. I have once seen an anime about the Arcana cards, Arcana Famiglia and it was really good, but besides that I have not seen anything about these cards and this was totally awesome!

Overall this was a fantastic book and I definitely do recommend it. I can’t read the second and third book for a little bit as I have to wait for my next school break, so I’ll have to wait for the new year, and until then it’s going to kill me, this wait.

But until then, definitely check this series out and enjoy it!

Happy Reading!

Harrys Wondrous World

The Ledge by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan

Book cover The Ledge by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan“An adventure story of friendship and survival on Mount Rainier”

Summary

“In June 1992, best friends Jim Davidson and Mike Price stood atop Washington’s Mount Rainier, celebrating what they hoped would be the first of many milestones in their lives as passionate mountaineers. Then their triumph turned tragic when a cave-in plunged them deep inside a glacial crevasse—the pitch-black, ice-walled hell of every climber’s nightmares.

An avid adventurer since youth, Davidson was a seasoned climber at the time of the Rainier ascent. But the harrowing free fall left him challenged by nature’s grandeur at its most unforgiving. Trapped on a narrow frozen shelf, deep below daylight, he desperately battled crumbling ice, snow that threatened to bury him alive, and crippling fear of the inescapable chasm below—all the while struggling to save his fatally injured friend. Finally, alone, with little equipment and rapidly dwindling hope, he confronted a fateful choice: the certainty of a slow, lonely death or the near impossibility of an agonizing climb for life. A story of heart-stopping adventure, heartfelt friendship, fleeting mortality, and implacable nature, The Ledge chronicles the elation and grief, dizzying heights and punishing depths, of a journey to hard-won wisdom.”

-From Amazon.com

Review

In all honesty, this book stressed the hell out of me. It was just things went from good to bad to worse. And I had to read this book over a few days to be able to make it. It’s not a long book at all, only about 253 pages or so and I’m used to reading that and way more in a shorter period of time, but with this book, I just couldn’t do it because of the content.

It is a true story and I would never have read this book if it hadn’t been the college wide book for next year but in all honesty, it was a really, really good book and had some fabulous lessons in it.

The main one that was said in the ending was, while the author literally fell into a trench while coming down from the mountain, life can make you fall into trenches, like a turn of your health for the worst or financial problems, and you cannot give up, even if you are left alone and it seems like you have no where else to turn to. You have to at least try because you never know, you just may come out of it alive and survive as a stronger person.

Essentially this book was just about this man who was hiking with his friend and there are trenches and if you fall into them, they are usually only about 30 feet deep so your partner can save you, but this one was way worse, about 100+ feet deep and he was dragged in along with his partner and it was about the story of how Jim was trying to get out.

I’m not a huge fan of the cold, nor confined spaces, and this mixed all of those ‘I do not likes’ together into one book and I had to take it bit by bit because of how it was written. Because it was in first person, you felt like you were with Jim during the entire experience and I just found it really quite stressful and upsetting.

But, while it is all that, it was a fabulous book because of the lessons you can learn in it. The perseverance was fantastic and it was incredible that he was able to do as well as he did.

I highly recommend this book! It’s not a hard read at all, as some non-fictions are. And it’s not boring. It’s sometimes a little monotonous with the talking about the climbing gear and such since I don’t really have any knowledge of those kinds of things, but even if you don’t know about it, it really doesn’t make that much of a difference and you can read it perfectly fine.

Please do check this book out. But I tell you now, prepare for an emotional rollercoaster.

Let me know what you think and happy reading!

Harrys Wondrous World

It’s Here……..Banned Book Week!!!!!

Banned Book Week is here.

It is time to bring out those books which are removed from certain places for different reasons.

It is time to read something dangerous.

Something that might just challenge free speech.

Something that might make you think…..differently…..outside of the box…..for yourself.

Some of the  banned books are…

Harry Potter
The Catcher in they Rye
To Kill a Mockingbird
Fahrenheit 451
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
and many, many more.

To see a list of 100 Banned or Challenged long standing books click here.

The 10 Most Challenged Books of 2010 were…

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sex education, sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Reasons: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: sexaully explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

Lush, by Natasha Friend
Reasons: drugs, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit

Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer
Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group

In honor of Banned Book Week choose a book, something really….banned…. and read.

I know that I will.

Harrys Wondrous World

Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark

High School Book Report – FAIL. What happens when you add a blogger,  a 3 page high school book report, and a small book? An epic fail of a book report but an awesome blog post. Also this is a record for me. Longest blog post ever.  Enjoy!!!

Summary

“Bestseller Clark is at her best when writing of crime against children, as shown in this chilling tale of kidnapping, murder and telepathy. Before leaving for a black-tie affair in New York City, Margaret and Steve Frawley celebrate the third birthday of their twin girls, Kathy and Kelly, with a party at their new home in Ridgefield, Conn. Later that night, when Margaret can’t reach the babysitter, she contacts the Ridgefield police. The frantic couple return home to find the children missing and a ransom note demanding $8 million. Though the Frawleys meet all the conditions, only Kelly turns up in a car along with a dead driver and a suicide note saying that Kathy has died. But Kelly’s telepathic messages from her sister keep telling her differently, and Margaret won’t give up hope. Even the most skeptical law enforcement officers and the FBI, who pursue suspects from New York to Cape Cod, begin to believe Kelly is on to something. Clues from ordinary people lead to a riveting conclusion.”

-Amazon.com

Review

I decided to read this book for a few reasons. I was interested in the author, as I have read a few of her books and I enjoyed them, I was interested in this story line as I do not frequently read realistic fiction. So I thought that it would be a nice change. I also thought that the cover was interesting. In addition to all of this, the title caught my attention – “Two Little Girls in Blue.” That sounded like such a simple, yet interesting title. I wanted to know more about the two little girls in blue so I decided to give this book a try.

The plot was about the kidnapping of two young girls, Kelly and Kathy, and there was a ransom for them of 8 million dollars. That was the first few chapters of the book. The story then changed into finding one of the sisters. One sister was returned at the drop off point, the other one was kept. That was what the other three-quarters of the story was about, finding the other sister.

The main characters in this book were the two sisters, Kelly and Kathy. There were other significant characters, but the entire book was about the two little girls in blue. The two girls had telepathy, and they could stay connected with each other. When one sister was returned to the other sister, the other sister could still communicate with the missing sister. That was how they found her.

I really enjoyed this book as it had an extremely captivating story. It kept you interested and it was a page turned. Also this was a very emotional book. I have not felt this emotional in a book since I read Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. This book made you feel mad, sad, happy, relived, and stressed. This book made me feel extremely stressed. I had to put it down at one point because I felt sick in the stomach and I was getting too stressed to read on. I was reading the story as if they were my children and I had lost them. The book was quite, no, extremely stressful in that aspect.

Angie (Mona) was the bad character in this book. She was working with some other people, but she was the main villain. I had so much hatred towards her during the whole book. I absolutely hated her character. She was evil, and she was kind of odd. She was a psycho because she would lose her temper really quickly, and she nearly killed one of the children. Also she did not care about the parents at all and what they thought. Most kidnappers don’t care, but she taunted them by sending recordings of the kids pleading to go home to the television stations. She had found out that she could not have kids of her own earlier in her life, so that was the only way that she was ever going to have children.

The characters in this book were described quite well. The sisters were said to be in communication, and they looked similar. I believe that they were blonde and I know that they left the house wearing blue. The woman, Angie, was described to be kind of odd and out of control and she would lose her temper or her demeanor would change at the slightest of things. The Pied Piper, was the secret character in this story. You never really got to know how he fit in. He was calling the shots, but it still did not really tie in with the story. He was the shadowy character and that added an air of mystery to it. The mother and father were just as you would expect. They were devastated because their children had been taken.

There were many good parts in this book but I have to say that my favorite part was the end. I know that many people say that their favorite part is the end, but in this book, it is the truth. This book was so stressful, that I was actually relived that it was over. I finally let out that breath which I had been holding throughout the entire book. It ended just as I wished it was going to, and it had a happy ending. That was what I was holding my breath about. I was worried that it was going to end badly. I really just wish that all kidnapping stories in real life could have a happy ending like this one, that all of the children who go missing could be found and reunited with their families.

I actually learned something in this book too. I learned and experienced the fear and the anger which the parents of kidnapped children must feel. When I read a good book, I become one with the characters. I was seeing this story from all the angles, the children’s, the parents, and the FBI agents. I got so into the book, I had to put it down at one point, because I was actually getting too stressed, and my heart was beating faster. I was also feeling really nauseous reading the book. I imagined they were my children, and I felt despair and at a loss.

My favorite characters in this book were the two sisters. They sounded, to me, as very cute and caring. I thought that it was interesting that without each other there were really helpless. They needed each other. It was also interesting how Mary Higgins Clark incorporated twin talk into the book, and how that the sisters may have been connected through the mind so that one would always know what happened to the other. I thought that it was also interesting how if one sister was pinched and got a bruise, the other sister would receive the same thing. It added this other element to it. It was kind of other worldly but it was a good idea.

In one book review online, it said that this book would frighten any adult. I think that they should have said, frightened all adult’s and all children. This book was actually quite scary in the sense that this really brought you down to earth. These things happen all the time. Children get snatch, and they never return. This scared me because that type of thing could have happened to me, or still could happen to me. Someone could just snatch you up and you could never return home. It gives the reader a sick feeling in their stomach.

I would definitely recommend people to read this book. It is an eye opener, but it is also a very good read. The story is captivating, and you will not want to put it down until the very last page. This book will go by very fast, as it is so easy but time flies when you read this book because you want to keep going. I know that some people do not like reading kidnapping book, but I would tell them to read this anyway. It is good to get that sick feeling in your stomach once in a while, just to remind yourself that you are not always safe. You need to always be on your guard. Something like this could happen at any moment to anyone. It happens frequently. Someone is taken, and another family is ruined. That is how this story was, but as I stated it before, this one luckily had a happy ending.

It was also interesting in the story how the villains did not stay in a normal house. It was more like an open area/warehouse. When you think of a villain, you usually think of them trying to blend in. The bad people in this story were not cautious about what they did. Angie (Mona) bought the twins an outfit and that raised eyes because she did not know what size they were, and she did not have the kid in a car seat and that raised the polices suspicion, she had the contents of  this box with baby stuff in it dropped from a private plane, which raised the eyes of even more people because who would do that type of thing. All of these little mistakes helped the police and the FBI find the children in the end.

I also kind of laughed when I heard about all of the media attention. When something big happens the first people to arrive are sometimes not the police, it’s the media. They have to get that story out there, they have to be the first on the scene so the police do not hold them back. That was so typical and I thought that it was an interesting touch to the story. Sometimes in kidnapping books, it is just the kidnapper, the family, and the people looking. This story made it more realistic because when something like this happens, the media are one of the first people on the scene.

I thought it was kind of interesting how the mom was portrayed to be kind of out there when her children went missing. She was delirious, and she was hysterical. She went driving one day and was gone for many, many hours and did not recall being gone for that long. That was an interesting idea because that would probably happen to most parents. They are in such a state of shock, that they don’t really know what is happening around them.

Also it was an interesting idea for Mary Higgins Clark to add the lie detector test. This was because the dad had a brother who might have held a grudge and the FBI wanted to make sure he was not lying. That was kind of an interesting touch because the FBI would probably have done that to make sure that it was not a wild goose chase. That also made the story more realistic.

All in all the story was about as down to earth, and as realistic as you can get. It had the realistic procedures, the realistic ideas developed by the FBI, and the realistic methods. It was an amazing book, but a definite one time read because personally, I don’t like getting that stressed while I read.

Unfortunately not every child can be gotten back. Not every child can be rescued. Not every child is every found again. That is a scary thought and this book is going to live with me forever. It is a good feeling to have, to remind yourself of the dangers. This is a must read because everyone needs to know that feeling because you need to make yourself worry that it may happen to you. Then you will be vigilant and then you will be cautious. But sometimes, that still is not enough.