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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Release Date:
December 22, 2009
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320

Sonny and Kelley are back in Lesley Livingston's second installment of her Wonderous Strange series! Unfortunately, Sonny and Kelley are not together; Sonny is in Faerie and trying to rid the land of the last few members of the Wild Hunt while Kelley is back in New York, acting in productions of Shakespeare's works.

These two star-crossed lovers may be temporarily separated, but they constantly think of each other. Kelley explores her new powers and has the company of the other Janus guards, but it cannot compare to having Sonny's company. However, the two cannot just spend their time pining for each other; there are dark matters brewing on the horizon--can Kelley and Sonny handle all that is to come?

I really don't want to give too much away here, but it was interesting to learn more about some other characters in the latest book in this series! Lesley Livingston's writing style is excellent and enjoyable! However, I do feel like this is a "middle book." Although it is well written, you know that there's going to be one more book, so not everything will be resolved. It's just a portion of the path the characters take as they get closer to the end. An enjoyable novel at points, but not entirely satisfying. Fans of Lesley Livingston's first novel will enjoy Darklight, but will probably be more eager for her third novel when their questions will be answered!

Friday, March 12, 2010

O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell

O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell

Release Date: February 2, 2010
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 306

William Shakespeare's well-known play, Romeo and Juliet, gets a different spin in Robin Maxwell's O, Juliet. Romeo and Juliet's story takes place during the Italian Renaissance and Juliet Capelletti is a budding poet and lover of Dante's work. Romeo Monticecco is also a lover of poetry and the two meet during a party. Romeo sneaks into the party with hopes to smooth over the tension between his family and Juliet's. The two of course are immediate attracted to each other and long to be together.

However, even as the strained relations between the Capellettis and Monticeccos improve, there still one thing standing in this couple's way: Jacopo Strozzi. Strozzi is Juliet's father's business partner. He is a man who often whines and complains, which does nothing for his already ugly appearance. Unfortunately, Juliet is destined to marry him, as her father and Strozzi wish to

At least Juliet has her good friend Lucrezia, who recently married into the powerful Medici family. The two are educated ladies who share a love of literature. Juliet confides in Lucrezia and has high hopes that Romeo's persistence at easing tensions between the Capellettis and Monticeccos can eventually lead to a marriage to Romeo for love, not a marriage for convenience with Strozzi.

But fate was not destined to be kind to these star crossed lovers; they must keep their love and their activities secret, lest their anyone learns of their trysts. But before long, things go spiraling out of control, and the deceitful Strozzi will do anything to destroy what Romeo has worked for, and to make sure that Juliet and the business will be all his...

I'm still a little conflicted over this retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Although I found O, Juliet enjoyable at points, I was not a big fan of some of how some of the characters were portrayed; Strozzi and Romeo were too fitted for their parts: evil vs. good. Strozzi seemed rather overstated; his ugly appearance and foul disposition was stated over and over again while Romeo seemed just a little too perfect: he was polite and the constant peace-maker. I always saw Romeo as a much more impulsive man who could be rather moody and at times, lustful. However, that is just my interpretation and Maxwell's shows another possibility.

One point that bothered me was that Strozzi received most of the blame for the things that went wrong in this version of Romeo and Juliet. In Shakespeare's version the two youth's impulsiveness and impatience was what often led to the trouble. Although the two star-crossed lovers in Maxwell's version were rash and at times, I would say they were not near the level that Shakespeare's original showed, so the plot seemed driven by Strozzi's scheming as much as by their impulsiveness and tendency for hasty decisions. I am not saying that Shakespeare's version was driven soley by Romeo and Juliet's attitudes as there were other factors as well, but I felt that it had a much bigger role in Shakespeare's original, and had thought that to be one of the points Shakespeare was making about love and young lovers' lust.

All in all, each reader may find Robin Maxwell's O, Juliet more enjoyable or less so that I did, depending on his/her own interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, but you have to give credit to Maxwell for telling her own interpretation of the classic love story.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bookish Mention & an update

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I've done a Bookish Mention, but since the Percy Jackson & The Olympians: the Lightning Thief movie came out recently, I've noticed there's been a renewed interest in mythology from the younger readers! Our mythology section has been noticeably more empty since more readers are checking those books out!

Although I have not had the chance to see Percy Jackson yet, I have always been a fan of Greek & Roman mythology. One of the girls I see at the library now and then loves the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and said she saw the movie three times and loved it! Has anyone else seen it? Thoughts? The special fx looks amazing, but how does the plot hold up?

And for a small update: life has been wayyy too hectic lately. I've been hitting my textbooks and various required readings for writing classes far more often than I've been able to curl up with a good book. That said, I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I'm still trying to adjust to my new schedule! However, I was able to read several books beyond my required english texts during break, so expect a few reviews coming!

thanks for hanging in there with me!
In the mean time, let me know what you thought of the Lighting Thief if you saw it! Should I go watch it or not? Was it worth your ten bucks?

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!


I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.