Book Report: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

wpid-wp-1438904248923.jpgI enjoyed The False Prince. The setting and characters felt fully formed and dynamic. Since someone spoiled the big reveal for me early on, I was able to study how Nielsen went about dropping hints and obscuring information. It’s a short read, so I recommend reading through once for enjoyment and then, if you’re a writer, going through a second time to learn how to write a good unreliable narrator.

Happy Yarning!

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Book Report: The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

IMG_4486I’d forgotten how much fun these are. It’s been a few years since I read books 1 and 2.

This one has its dark moments, but it also made me laugh a lot. I like that the narrator is the first to point out irony in any situation. It makes me willing to suspend my disbelief almost indefinitely.

I recommend this series for anyone looking for adventure and a good dose of silliness.

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

IMG_4111Sense of Place 101. This is your textbook.

I enjoyed Tuck Everlasting as a preteen, and I picked it up again because I realized one of my manuscripts has a few similar plot elements.

I’d forgotten how excellently written it was. If you struggle with creating a sense of place (a.k.a. filling in that white void around your characters with sensory details), this is a great book to read. And re-read.

I recommend Tuck Everlasting to all ages. I also recommend reading it out loud.

Happy Yarning!

Book Report: Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

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A very enjoyable read about magic, home, and the empowerment of education. Quick, too–I read it in one sitting.

It was perhaps a tad heavy on the tongue-tied, lovestruck young girl side of things for my taste, but I really liked the magic system.

I would recommend Princess Academy for girls ages 10 and up, and I’m glad to have it on my shelf for the future, since we found out we’re having a girl!

Happy Yarning.

Book Report: How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

IMG_3396I picked this up on Saturday afternoon and finished it before dinner. It was a breath of fresh air for me from Inheritance. Well, perhaps not “fresh” air–more like a well-needed burp. This book would be great for boys  aged 7 to 12 (and girls too if they’re not above a bit of nose-picking).

The plot of the movie of the same name resembles the plot of this book in much the same way that an apple resembles an orange. Which is to say, not at all. The conflict was aged-up for the movie (hint: the addition of a love interest). However, both are clever and funny. I don’t know if I could pick my favorite.

One thing I liked better about the book was that the dragons had more personality. This is of particular interest to me because the next story I’m looking at writing involves (to put it simply) griffin familiars. Cowell’s dragons have different motives from the humans, which creates friction and conflict between them as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, the Hope and Heir to the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, tries to figure out what makes his dragon, Toothless, tick.

I need to consider what kinds of conflicts would be inherent in a society made up of both humans and sentient griffins. It may be that because the griffins’ sentience stems from their bond with humans they operate on the same kinds of motives, but then again perhaps it is not so simple.