Shannon M. (confuzzledbooks) - Reviews

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The 10th Kingdom: Do You Believe in Magic?
The 10th Kingdom: Do You Believe in Magic?
Author: Kathryn Wesley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 12/13/2017


The 10th Kingdom is book that is tied to a tv movie that aired in the USA in 2000, under the same name. It is retelling of some fairy tales and what happens after ever after. Probably one of stories that started landslide of retelling of fairy tale movies and books.

I had seen the movie that this book is based on. I love it. I thought the book was going add on to the story or continuation of it. It did not, it is basically a rewrite of the movie but done really well. Since it has been 17 years (Wow!) since the movie aired I pretty much forgot a lot of the movie, so it was like a new story. Still enjoyed it. I also loved that there were pictures of characters in the movie which made it easier to picture the actor as the characters. Love the characters Virginia and Wolf. At first I did not like them as a couple but they grow on you.

I still feel there should be more after the story and wish it was a series. I liked the stories behind the 10th Kingdoms but I do not think we will get more. It's not the best retelling of fairy tale but it is fun and worthwhile to read or watch if you rather.

I really wish NBC would do more movies like this that they did in the early 2000's. They were bright, colorful and fanciful. Just my kind of fantasy telling.


The 10th Kingdom: Do You Believe in Magic?
The 10th Kingdom: Do You Believe in Magic?
Author: Kathryn Wesley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/11/2017


The 10th Kingdom is book that is tied to a tv movie that aired in the USA in 2000, under the same name. It is retelling of some fairy tales and what happens after ever after. Probably one of stories that started landslide of retelling of fairy tale movies and books.

I had seen the movie that this book is based on. I love it. I thought the book was going add on to the story or continuation of it. It did not, it is basically a rewrite of the movie but done really well. Since it has been 17 years (Wow!) since the movie aired I pretty much forgot a lot of the movie, so it was like a new story. Still enjoyed it. I also loved that there were pictures of characters in the movie which made it easier to picture the actor as the characters. Love the characters Virginia and Wolf. At first I did not like them as a couple but they grow on you.

I still feel there should be more after the story and wish it was a series. I liked the stories behind the 10th Kingdoms but I do not think we will get more. It's not the best retelling of fairy tale but it is fun and worthwhile to read or watch if you rather.

I really wish NBC would do more movies like this that they did in the early 2000's. They were bright, colorful and fanciful. Just my kind of fantasy telling.
.


1984
1984
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1637
Review Date: 2/20/2014


1984 is a science fiction first published in the 40s. An idea that George Orwell thought of as a possible future. To explain the book without ruining the ending is hard. The book is dark and as the character sneak away to spots where Big Brother can not see them. There is always the feeling that you should look over your shoulder to see if they found you. Being in places Big Brother cant see you and being punished for going to those places does not seem as insane as thinking of being somewhere else and being punished for. Imagine having a thought against Big Brother and speaking in your sleep about it. Only to have your 5 year old daughter to report to the Thought Police for punishment which could be death.

This strange version of history that could have been is difficult to have anything good to say about it. Except for the fact that thankfully we do not live like this.

You want badly for the couple in the book to find a way to break loose and free themselves from Big Brother. Never thinking that the ending will turn as it does.

So much sadness and melancholy within in one book is depressing at times but it was a interesting read of a classic.


Abigail the Breeze Fairy (Weather Fairies, Bk 2)
Review Date: 12/4/2012


I like the idea of the different fairies in the Rainbow Magic Series but every story is just recycled from the first to the last. I understand that it is a chapter book and kids are just starting to learn reading with these books but there could be more originality besides the names.

There are other chapter books that do not follow patterns like Disney fairy books, The Fairy school book by Gail Herman and others.

I also dont think you need to read the books in order because they do tell you what happened in the book before this one.

I just dont know if I will read another. I might try one of the super sized ones like Shannon the Ocean Fairy but I am partial to that because the name only and I think that is what grabs you with these books. The girls see there name or name they know and walla a collection is born.


The Absent Author (A to Z Mysteries, Bk 1)
The Absent Author (A to Z Mysteries, Bk 1)
Author: Ron Roy, John Steven Gurney (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 21
Review Date: 12/4/2012


A group of kids awaits a book signing with their favorite mystery author, Wallis Wallace. But the author never shows, and the kids find it strange. As they follow clues, they think Wallis Wallace has been kidnapped.
I like this book because it's pure kid imagination. It's what kids wish would happen. Who didn't want to be part of a mystery crew like on Scooby Doo or this A - Z Mysteries crew? The start to this series is imaginative, fun and keeps you interested.


The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles!
The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles!
Author: Paul Carafotes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/21/2014


Baby Charlie has a knack for making friends and making bubbles. One day he get scared and makes a bubble big enough for him to travel out the window.

The story is cute. I believe the character is loosely based on the authors son. The art is pretty good. I really dont have anything negative to say.

I think the kids 5 and below will enjoy the Adventures of Charlie Bubbles. I hope to see more adventures!


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Mark Twain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 57
Review Date: 2/20/2014


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel of sorts. First came The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which Huckleberry Finn was a character in just as Tom Sawyer was in this one. In this adventure Huckleberry runs away from his alcoholic father and along the way runs into a slave Jim, who is trying to gain his freedom. As they stop in towns along the river they always seem to run into trouble.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was more enjoyable to read on my own then it was to read for school. Huck definitely has a original imagination to get them through all the hijinks they go through.

I felt that by the Tom Sawyer showed up the book could and probably should have ended. Many of the people in the town were pretty gullible to believe Huck, Tom and other characters like the Duke or King.

An Interesting read. Not sure I understand why it is a classic except that is by Mark Twain. I could see the authors humor throughout the book, which he was known for.


The Adventures of Snip in Oregon
The Adventures of Snip in Oregon
Author: Betty S. Moir
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/27/2010


The Moir family just moved back to the states after living over seas. They get a dog, Snip, who is loving, fluffy and vocal. He likes helping with the kids chores, riding in the car and protecting the family from curious vermin.

Although the story is a little wordy, reading about Snip ordering around ("helping") the children with their chores on the farm is endearing.


After the Kill (Junior Library Guild Selection (Charlesbridge Paper))
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Definitely not a book for the squeamish child or adult. I think about The Lion King and the song Circle of Life. While that is a happy song this may not be the happiest topic but it is a fact of life. Lion kill zebras for food and other animals eventually share this food.

While I am not a fan of watching the animal planet channel show about predators killing other animals I respect that they have to to live and this book is still an educational book for children.

The art is pretty graphic and I would not recommend it for smaller children. Maybe for about the age of 7 and up depending on the child. You would need a child mature enough to understand and respect the nature of animals.


After the Rain: Virginia's Civil War Diary, Book Two (My America)
Review Date: 12/4/2012


This second book was better then the first. It could be that there were more moments I could relate to like Virginia letting envy get into her heart because her family was poor and she worked for a rich family with children her age that got more than her. Yes I could relate to that.

While this book was pretty down for the most part it wasnt down the whole time. It like life had its ups and downs where in the first book I didnt see much ups at all.

Although this is a second book in Virginias books it can be read by it self. I can see
this one making a good book report for the kids.


The Alchemist
The Alchemist
Author: Paulo Coelho, Alan R. Clarke (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 747
Review Date: 2/20/2014


The Alchemists main protagonist is a young man who starts out as a shepherd. The young man is only known to the reader as The Boy, he is never given a name. The boy wonders about a dream he has had twice in a row. He sees a gypsy to read his future and then meets a strangely dressed person claiming to be a King. He is encouraged by both to search for the treasure that is in his dreams.

There were many things in The Alchemist that come up that I am able to relate with in life. The Alchemist, although fiction, is written with much wisdom, and mysticism. The Alchemist is such a good book that the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking After I am done I will read it again because there is just so much in the book to grasp and understand. I have not read it a second time but it is a book I plan to keep and read again maybe once a year.

I truly find nothing wrong with the book. There is maybe things I disliked about the story like the surprising ending. Still does not ruin the greatness this book shows.

The Alchemist is a tale for those still looking for themselves and their lifes treasure.


Alice I Have Been
Alice I Have Been
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 4/27/2010
Helpful Score: 7


Once I saw that this book was about the real woman who inspired the character Alice from Alice In Wonderland, I had to read it. There were many things I did not know. For example, Lewis Carroll is a pen name for Charles Dodgson, who took pictures of children that even in his time was considered scandalous.

I know this book is going to be one of my top ten for 2010. I know, I know the year just started, but this book is good. It just captured Alice's world, heartaches, love and relationship with her family so well that I didn't want to put it down.


All the King's Men
All the King's Men
Author: Robert Penn Warren
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/16/2014


My husband read this years before me and thought the author, Robert Penn Warren was too descriptive. I agree that some spots were descriptive but there was beauty in the words that made the book likable. I really felt for the main character Jack Burden, especially the flashback of his first love. It made you wonder if things had gone differently with them would certain people be alive or doing something different.

The things I disliked were probably the things I was suppose to dislike. For example, the corruption in politics and in life. Relationships in the book were for the most part pretty bleak and sad.

I can not say I loved this book or that I disliked it. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and found some beauty in the misery of Jacks life.


All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 372
Review Date: 2/16/2014


Sixteen year old John Grady decides to leave his home in Texas and go to Mexico. He leaves with his friend Lacey Rawlins. As they travel and collect a third person, Jimmy Blevins, they find that the world gives more downs than up on the rollercoaster of life.

I had not read any of Cormac McCarthys books. I think this is a good one to start with because I thought it sometimes reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn stories. The only difference was a little more violent, dark and some sex mentioned. From what I read of other reviews this book is fairly happy compared to McCarthys other works.

The first things that bothered me about the book was no quotations when people spoke and also quite a bit of Spanish that does not get translated in the book. The Spanish really bothered me because I did not feel like grabbing a Spanish dictionary and looking up every other sentence.

So even with the books negative traits I still found it refreshing different from what I normally read. I dont know if I would read the rest of the series though.


Allie Gator and the Seven Stones
Allie Gator and the Seven Stones
Author: Sean Eckenrod
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/21/2014


A teenaged girl named Allie Gator (yes, that is her name) isnt understood by her parents especially her mother, who thinks of Allie as an embarrassment. Her favorite place is to look for shells on the sand and watch the calming waters. She stumbles into the lake and ends up in a underwater world where she can breathe and talk to the aquatic animals. She has to save seven of the underwater realms where magical stones have gone missing.

This was a really strange story. I liked the character Allie and some of her underwater allies. I thought the idea behind saving the magical stones in each separate world was intriguing .

The thought behind the stones and what happened when they were taken away was interesting but didnt always make sense. Especially after the stone was found nothing much changed. I could also say with all the things she learned underwater nothing changed in the real world for Allie. Her mother still didnt understand her and Allie was even more out of touch with reality wanting to always see her other home, underwater.

I wish some the reason behind the missing stones and the effects of the inhabitants was explained more clearly. Frankly, the capture of the last stone was the most interesting because the story drew from her life. The others may have too but I couldnt connect them to her.


ALPHABET ANATOMY: MEET THE CAPITAL LETTERS
ALPHABET ANATOMY: MEET THE CAPITAL LETTERS
Author: Linda Jones
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/20/2014


With creative drawing and snazzy rhymed sentences. Each letter has a unique word match to it. While some of the words are simple other are ones rarely used and nice to see them utilized to help kids learn the meanings.

I really liked the art in Alphabet Anatomy. It was done by the authors son which is a neat bonus I am sure for the partners and readers.

Down side that letter X is a pain to rhyme darnit. I would have preferred to still have made the word associated with it a word beginning with an X, instead of Excited, even if I couldnt rhyme with it. I thought it might confuse a child.

Alphabet Anatomy is a very good childrens picture book with great visual and smart sentences that the kids can have fun and learn at the same time.


Alphabet Kids - Yang's New Dance (Alphabet Kids)
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Showing the plus sides to diversity in heritage the alphabet kids are always learning something new at there school. Today they learn from Yang grandfather about Tai Chi.

The kids are a curious bunch and see Yang dancing his dance at recess. Instead of making fun of his different dance they want to know more of why it is so fun to Yang, instead of playing with them. Yang grandfather teaches the children some Tai Chi moves and tells them how it can make you happy and healthy practicing these moves. No one is excluded. Everyone can do they even their teacher.

The art is cleanly drawn and captures the characters uniqueness even with out the words. I loved Yangs New Dance because it was different story then you would find in most picture books. I loved the pleasant feeling that the kids all liked each other and seem to accept there differences.


Alphabet Woof!
Alphabet Woof!
Author: Sherrie Ann Madia
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/4/2012


Very creative story for kids. A dog wishing on a bowl of Alphabet soup spilt on the floor. It is a believable fairy tale because most pet owners feel that there animals want to talk to them some how and the dogs wish makes it possible for him to communicate with his owners.

I like the way it flowed the way it sometimes rhymed. I get a little lost when the dog goes on and on, which is probably the point but like the child trying to sleep I wanted the dog to let the kid sleep.

Entertaining and good for children with pets or that like fairy tales.


The Amazing Adventures of Thomas and Erin with Grandad - Market Day
The Amazing Adventures of Thomas and Erin with Grandad - Market Day
Author: john vasey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/1/2013


While the story is cute. I think some of it needed more description of what they did the places they stopped at. Also if I understand the story right they are out all day and night with Grandad..hmm...that seems unlikely to happen in real life


I liked at the end the spot to draw your Grandad. The drawings especially of the Grandad seemed a little creepy.


The Ambassadors (Penguin Classics)
The Ambassadors (Penguin Classics)
Author: Henry James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/16/2014


A young man, Chad, has been traveling Europe ending up in Paris, France. His family wants him home to the States as they fear France has corrupted him.


As you see above the rating for this is a one star and a DNF(Did Not Finish). This is a first for me. I really tried to get into The Ambassadors and to understand it. I got to about 200 pages in and just could not continue. Never have read a book like this where the words that are used I understand on their own but when they are combined with others I know do not comprehend them together.


I do not know if it is just the way Henry James writes since this the first I have read by him but I will not be returning to this book again.


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