Moved!

5 Books a Week has matured, changed names, and moved.

 

The new location is www.leeanna.me.

Hiatus.

Until further notice, I’ve decided to take a hiatus. I’ve burned myself out on reading, and I’m not having fun with it right now.

Book 181: Demigods and Monsters

Demigods and MonstersDemigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, edited by Rick Riordan

Well, first, this book IS NOT by Rick Riordan. It is a collection of essays EDITED by him. Just stressing that because in reading some other reviews, it seemed that others assumed it was by Riordan.

Anyway. “Demigods and Monsters” is a collection of 11 essays, including:
-Monster Recognition for Beginners, by Rosemary Clement-Moore
-Why Do So Many Monsters Go Into Retail? by Cameron Dokey
-Stealing Fire From the Gods, by Paul Collins
-Would You Want to Be One of Artemis’s Hunters? by Carolyn MacCullough
-Dionysus: Who Let Him Run a Summer Camp? by Ellen Steiber
-The Gods Among Us, by Elizabeth M. Rees
-Eeny Meeny Miney Mo(m), by Jenny Han
-Percy, I Am Your Father, by Sarah Beth Durst
-Not Even the Gods Are Perfect, by Elizabeth E. Wein
-Frozen Eyeballs, by Kathi Appelt
-The Language of the Heart, by Sophie Masson

There is also a glossary of Greek myths, and a good introduction by Rick Riordan. I think my favorite part was the introduction, because for me, it was the first I’d read directly from the author on why he wrote the Percy Jackson series.

The essays are hit or miss. The book is aimed at the teen level, but I think that some of the essays will make a teen’s eyes glaze over, or they won’t understand some of the concepts. But some are quite good, and pull in other famous series teens are likely to have read, from Harry Potter to Star Wars. For readers interested in mythology, there are essays that touch on how Riordan has used and twisted myths, and also give good sources for additional reading.

If you’re head-over-heels for Percy Jackson, this may book a book to expand your reading.

3/5.

Week 36 Wrapup

Another week over. I’ve updated a few things, added my twitter feed to the blog. I usually don’t tweet a lot, but a few days ago “Expecto Patronum” was the number one trending topic, and I got into the spirit of things. I use it mostly to follow people I like, but I think I’m going to start tweeting more. Gotta use my smartphone more!

I may add a tag to books I have reread, not sure yet. I’ll probably be adding the Harry Potter books for a third time…I’ve started reading them to my mom! She’s getting into it, and we’ve just started “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” My voice is going to be dead after 4,175 pages. Gulp.

This upcoming week and next are the last two of my super-speeded up summer class, so I have a big project to finish for that very soon.

I’m also about to start writing fanfic. I’m excited.😀

I’m off to make a new header for this blog, finally; need to get this place updated and all nice and fresh instead of ignoring it until Sunday rolls around.

Book 177: Harry Potter 7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (again)

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsHarry Potter #7: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling (again!)

First review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

As I wrote in my second post on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” I’ve gotten quite into the HP online fandom. And I’ve inevitably decided to do some writing for it, and have been reading the later HP books to review some information for myself.

And, too, because how could I not read “The Deathly Hallows” after finishing “The Half-Blood Prince?!” Snape…I love his character so much. The end of this book has some of my favorite scenes ever, I think.

Every time I finish “The Deathly Hallows,” I’m reminded of just how well-crafted the Harry Potter series is. Every single book reflects on every other book; I could wax poetic about it forever. And I definitely have been, lately!

5/5.

Book 176: Harry Potter 6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (again)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceHarry Potter #6: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling (again!)

First review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

So, in my quest of all things Harry Potter, I’ve recently discovered the fandom online. It’s huge! I can’t believe I didn’t get into it earlier, honestly. I’m a bit miffed with myself – I think I missed out on some great things.

As you may have seen me mention before, I’ve gotten slightly obsessed with fanfiction, and have been reading a LOT of it over the past few weeks. And now I’ve decided to write my own…heh heh.

So I needed to re-read “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to get some scene-setting information for my first fic, and also because I finally watched the movie – and LOVED it. I had been watching a movie a night, and I wasn’t impressed by the first few, but the last three really blew me away. Especially “Half-Blood Prince;” I think it is one of my favorite movies now. I had to read the book after watching it, because I was trying to figure out why the scene of Bellatrix burning the Barrow was put in the movie. I still don’t know why, but I think that “Half-Blood Prince” is also becoming one of my favorite books. Narcissa and Bellatrix sum it up for me!

I said in my first review that this book just gets better and better each time I read it, and I echo that this time around.

5/5, again.

Week 35 Wrapup

percy jackson shirtI went out on Saturday, I think, and got 5 pretty awesome geeky shirts. Here’s a picture of one of my new favorites, a Percy Jackson and the Olympians tee. I almost got an orange Camp Half Blood shirt, but they were all too big.

I’m in a bit of a reading block right now, honestly. While reading is something I love and do daily, at the moment I’ve been obsessed with fanfiction, not books. I’m in the mood to write some of my own; I haven’t written fic in 7 years! It’s a little crazy to think about. I haven’t read anything over-the-moon in the past few weeks either (aside from Harry, and yes I am obsessed), so I think that’s a contributing factor. I’m not giving up on this, though, and have been thinking recently if I’ll continue when I finish this year in October. Maybe with a different rule for longer books…

Well, here’s hoping. I’m sure everyone’s seen Silly Bandz around – they’re pretty dang popular right now. I proudly sport my own pack of dinosaurs, and you know what? They make pretty good bookmarks. I think it’s so cool that the creator, Rob Croak, is from Toldeo, Ohio, seeing as I’m from Ohio as well!

Book 173: Green

GreenGreen, by Jay Lake

When I saw the editorial reviews on Amazon for “Green,” I wanted to read it instantly. Luckily I requested it from the library, because I would’ve been very disappointed if I’d bought it.

The first part of “Green” was the best for me. Green was sold to slavery as a child, sent to a distant city to be educated, trained, and cultured. We don’t know exactly why Green’s being put through all this, but it’s hinted that she’s been bought by someone high in power in the city, and he has other girls going through the same thing she is. This part of the book reminded me of “Kushiel’s Dart,” by Jacqueline Carey, but Carey is far superior.

Just when I thought we’d see some of the court life and politics of Copper Downs, the plot suddenly takes a 360 and goes into a crazy direction. I’m having a very tough time trying to summarize it – I just don’t know what I read. Lots of god conflicts and some weird character turns.

I normally read every single book I start; on average I dislike maybe one or two books a year. I put “Green” down for a few weeks, and even though I had 20 pages left, I was uninterested in finishing the book.

I’m giving “Green” a 2/5 mainly for the beginning, and the worldbuilding, which was interesting. The rest of the book just didn’t hold my interest.

2/5.

Book 172: Hidden Wives

Hidden WivesHidden Wives, by Claire Avery

“Hidden Wives” is the story of Sara and Rachel, two sisters living in a polygamist cult called the Blood of the Lamb. At the start of the book, their father takes the sisters to the prophet to receive their marriage confirmation – at 16 and 15, the sisters are practically spinsters. Most girls in the Blood of the Lamb are married by 13.

Sara doesn’t fully believe the cult’s practices, especially when she learns the prophet has received 16 marriage proposals for her prettier sister, but only one for Sara herself. Sara is also troubled by her father’s abusive behavior, while Rachel starts to doubt when she sees a deformed baby abandoned, and when she meets Luke, with whom she falls in love.

“Hidden Wives” reminds me a lot of nonfiction accounts such as “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop, and “Stolen Innocence” by Elissa Wall. The Blood of the Lamb polygamist cult could easily be compared to the real Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, as I found many parallels between the fiction book and nonfiction memoirs. The author (two sisters writing under a pseudonym) doesn’t shy away from sexual abuse, incest, rape, violence, or racism, or the struggles that Sara and Rachel face as they try to escape and thrive away from the cult. I’ve also watched a few documentaries on the FLDS, and “Hidden Wives” feels very accurate. I was easily caught up in the story of Sara and Rachel – they are compelling, interesting, sympathetic characters, and the ending came too soon for me.

I would have liked an epilogue though, to finish their stories. I also felt the ending was a little rushed, compared to the large amounts of detail concentrated on the early part of the book. I wish similar time had been given to the ending. But otherwise, “Hidden Wives” was an excellent read.

4/5.

Book 171: Blood Song

Blood SongBlood Song, by Cat Adams

“Blood Song,” featuring tough bodyguard Celia Graves, is the first in a new urban fantasy/paranormal series. Celia is at first a “vanilla” human – no magical abilities – but quickly becomes an abomination when a bodyguard gig goes horribly wrong.

Celia has to quickly learn to deal with her new existence as a cross between a vampire (bat) and a human; she has supernatural abilities such as quicker healing, but also weaknesses such as craving blood. If that wasn’t enough, she’s in danger from her sire, the vampire who turned her into an abom, and also under fire from a deadly demon. While Celia’s willing to accept some help from her friends, she’s also immensely stubborn and determined to do all she can on her own, especially when one of her friends supposedly commits suicide. Add in a world full of magic, vampires, werewolves, clairvoyants, militant priests, and an ex boyfriend, and you’ve got quite a mix.

I didn’t quite like “Blood Song.” The story was good enough, but I never fully identified with or liked Celia. She reminded me of plenty of other urban fantasy female main characters, with the same sort of wit and attitude. Maybe it was the first person narration that bothered me – I’m not sure. Or it could’ve been the large cast of characters; by the end of the book I’d forgotten a few names, and had to look them up to remember who everyone was. Or it could’ve been the plot itself – I thought “Blood Song” dragged on a little too long. I don’t regret reading the book, I just think it could’ve been a little better.

3/5.

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