The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

61X8Fm+B1JLBlurb: Few children’s classics can match the charm and originality of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, the unforgettable story of sullen, sulky Mary Lennox, “the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.” When a cholera epidemic leaves her as an orphan, Mary is sent to England to live with her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven, at Misselthwaite Manor. Unloved and unloving, Mary wanders the desolate moors until one day she chances upon the door of a secret garden. What follows is one of the most beautiful tales of transformation in children’s literature, as Mary her sickly and tyrannical cousin Colin and a peasant boy named Dickson secretly strive to make the garden bloom once more. (goodreads)

4 stars

Listened to Via: Audio CD (library)

My Thoughts:  Unlike the last classic novel I listened to, A Christmas Carol, I had no idea what this story was about. At first, I disliked Mary and the accents. However, all the characters grew on me and I began to love the Yorkshire accent (not too sure how accurate it really is) that Finola Hughes produces. I actually have trouble getting it out of my head. Though some of story can be seen as silly, especially near the end, I think it sends a good message for children. There are many moments within the story that I cheered and laughed.

Listened to January 27, 2014 — January 31, 2014

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Gracia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness

Blurb: Together Ethan and Lena can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan’s eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, that’s no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town’s tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

2 stars smaller

Read Via: Hardback book (library)

My Thoughts: There are some factors that I weigh more than others. For example, if the story is believable (not in a sense of fiction or non-fiction but like how things happen and how easy some things end up being – kind of hard to explain). This book was hard for me to get through because a lot of what was happening seemed rather dumb or ridiculous. There were some good parts, however, there was not enough for me to want to continue the series. I don’t think I could make it through two more books.

Read October 1, 2013 — November 5, 2013

Related Review:

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful CreaturesBlurb: Lean Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
4 stars

Listened to Via: Audio CD (library)

My Thoughts: This love story is told through Ethan. However, to me at least, it didn’t strike me as different or refreshing to be told from the guy’s point of view. The story progressed nicely and there was never really a place to get bored. The mystery behind everything makes you want to read more. The ending was little different than I expected, which is good. I am not sure how the rest of the books will continue on, but I guess I will find out.

Read September 9, 2013 – September 20, 2013

Related Review:

Accordance by Shelly Crane

AccordanceBlurb: In the sequel, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that happened to her, and has to face new ones. She rebels against it, but ultimately, must face it for her new families sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle’s intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together and fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle?

2 stars smaller

Read Via: Kindle (own it)

My Thoughts: Most of this book took place at the beach house introduced in the first book. Events dragged on and on. There was little to no real action. I was completely bored for the most part. The exciting parts were rushed. I was overall displeased.

Note: I will not be continuing on with the Significance series.

Read June 26, 2013 — July 22, 2013

Related Reviews:

Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling

HP The Prequel

This is a VERY short novella. It is only four pages, and available for free (download from goodreads). I found out about this prequel not too long ago, and I thought it was worth looking into.

It involves James and Sirius when they were younger. It’s been a long time since I have read the Harry Potter series, so I am not sure if this really fit in with anything.

It seems more of a glimpse into the past. However, it was pretty funny and I enjoyed it.

I will not be counting this toward my 2013 book challenge since it was so short.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)

Blurb: To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City – whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

What I think: I was really excited to read this book because they finally traveled to Idris. I was really looking forward to getting the details of this place so I could visualize it. I love visualizing places and people. It makes me feel like I’m there and seeing what’s going on. This book seemed like it had a lot going on but it was all good things. There was a part in the book that I wish wouldn’t have happened or at least there was something that happened to change it back. Of course I can’t tell you what happened because it happens in a good and exciting part of the book.

4stars

Related Reviews:

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)

Blurb: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

What I think: Hmm…what to say about this book that I haven’t already said while reviewing the first book. A lot of things happen in this book and I”m afraid that if I mention some of them I’ll give away something good in the book. Anyways I’m just going to tell you some of the things going on in this book. Valentine is trying to get the second mortal instrument and activate it for evil. He has to go around and kill people (well drain them of their blood) the clave trys to stop it with a battle. Clary find out her special shadowhunter power. That’s pretty much it but with a lot more detail and some other things going on that I can’t tell you.

4stars

Related Reviews:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Blurb: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

What I think: Interesting book. It’s very different from most books but in a good way. I really enjoyed being taken to a different world with demons, shadowhunters, warlocks, and other out of this world characters. I was not expecting the ending of this book and I wasn’t too happy about it. I’m not saying the ending was bad it’s just that I love romance stories and the ending of this book makes me think there’s not a lot of romance that’s going to be happening.

4stars

Related Reviews: