phoenixorion - Reviews

1 to 18 of 18
The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)
The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)
Author: Sylvia Plath
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 160
Review Date: 6/24/2008


Although this was a rather short book, it took me many sittings to finish it. The story just did not capture me and I thought the 'climax' was rather weak. It was disappointing, especially considering the hype.


The Casual Vacancy
The Casual Vacancy
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 10/21/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Rowling should stick with children's books. The HP series and subsequent "spin-offs" were excellent and there is great character development in this one, but the overall story moves extremely slow. By the third or fourth chapter, one would expect the plot to get interesting but that isn't the case with this book. I found myself sticking with it just to finish it rather than any desire to find out what happens. It took a lot of concentration just to get through it. I was very disappointed.


The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife
Author: Elizabeth Brundage
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 663
Review Date: 7/31/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Very predictable, no surprises, terribly boring.


The Exorcist
The Exorcist
Author: William Peter Blatty
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 115
Review Date: 9/8/2008


I waited eight years to read this book because the movie scared me so bad. I was not disappointed, as it was very interesting and kept my attention well. However, it did not scare me. I think what makes the idea of demon possession so frightening is actually seeing it rather than just imagining. If I had not seen the movie prior to reading the book, it would have been difficult for me to imagine a lot of Regan's physical actions during her possession. The book is not hard to understand in that it uses "big words" but the dialog switches rapidly (blink and you'll be lost). I wasn't fond of the dialog between Kinderman and Karras, as it took a while to get to the point. Kinderman seemed to ramble a bit too much and came off a bit too insecure for a 'cop,' imo. It also describes extremely graphic sexual content, satanic rituals and is best kept away from even older teens (imo). Overall, I enjoyed reading it and recommend it for those who are morbidly curious like me. ;)


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, Bk 2)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, Bk 2)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 1492
Review Date: 10/21/2014


The CoS was my least favorite in the HP series. I thought Prof. Lockhart's character and involvement took up too much time and overshadowed the rest of the story. The only thing I enjoyed about this book was the intro of Dobby, the house elf, though I would have liked for Rowling to include him in more of the book than he was. Overall, it isn't a boring story and fits in nicely with the flow of the series. I just didn't particularly care for Lockhart and thought Rowling gave too much to that character.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, Bk 7)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, Bk 7)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 710
Review Date: 10/21/2014


There are so many plot twists and turns in this book, it's impossible to cover them all. DH is the last and (imho) best book in the HP series. It is the most mature and 'dark,' and has a very different feel to it. The trio is constantly on the move throughout the story, being chased and searching for horcruxes to destroy. They meet up with several other characters, including Voldemort himself. The absolute best scene is at Hogwarts toward the end of the story, where the final "battle" takes place. The consequences of it are bittersweet; both great and tragic.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, Bk 4)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, Bk 4)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 1892
Review Date: 10/21/2014


I was not impressed with the GoF movie but the book is one of my favorites in the series. The introduction of Winky, a house elf, is totally excluded from the movie but the central key to the overall plot in the book. Other than that, Hermione's character is given more depth in her activism role as well as the difficulties of adolescence dealt with in the other main characters. GoF is the "coming of age" book in the series and focuses a lot on how our trio copes with early adolescence, noticing the opposite sex, and how friendship evolves.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, Bk 6)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, Bk 6)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2808
Review Date: 10/21/2014


HBP is a very 'dark' story and involves more mature aspects of Harry's world. He inherits a house as well as a house elf to go with it, is inducted into the "Slug Club," finds a mysterious book to aid him in a difficult class, begins a new "adventure" in finding horcruxes, and buries a beloved mentor. The book is fairly long but grabbed me from the very beginning. This was the first I read in a very short period of time (only 3 days) because I couldn't put it down.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, Bk 5)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, Bk 5)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2289
Review Date: 10/21/2014


OotP is one of my favorites in the HP series. My favorite scene is when Dumbledore's Army goes to the Ministry of Magic. It makes for some hilarious consequences! Overall, I think OotP takes us to a darker place and sets the stage for a more complex and mature theme played out in the last two books. Like GoF, OotP involves the death of a beloved character and shows a little of how Harry copes with losing yet another close relationship.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, Bk 3)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, Bk 3)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 3079
Review Date: 10/21/2014


As with most movie adaptations, PoA has so much more in the book than what we saw on screen. It is one of the more detailed stories in the entire series, including one of the more interesting aspects of the book; the interaction between certain animals and Animagi, as well as how a character is "rescued," both of which the movie excludes. Without giving spoilers, PoA is one of the best installments in the HP series.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, Bk 1)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, Bk 1)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1369
Review Date: 10/21/2014


The first installment of the HP series, SS grabbed me from the very beginning. I watched the first three movies prior to picking this up so I had a pretty good idea of the overall plot. I was pleasantly surprised with all the details left out of the movies, however. This one is the simplest and poses Harry as any other "Muggle" with a few not-so-normal traits. His home life is terrible; being neglected by his family and forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs. We are introduced to most of the main characters throughout the series, including Hagrid, who plays a critical role in Harry's upbringing. To begin with, I loved how Rowling presented the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! This was the book that kept me interested and coming back for more Harry!


High On Arrival (Audio CD) (Abridged)
High On Arrival (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Mackenzie Phillips
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 10/1/2015


I listened to the audiobook in one sitting. All six hours of it. I'd seen Mackenzie on Celebrity Rehab a couple of years back and thought we had some things in common. I knew about the incest prior to picking up the CDs but the way she described it, in detail, was really shocking. I can't relate to that part, thank goodness, but it still brought me to tears and the parts I could relate to were even more emotional. I can't pick out the best parts of the book because it's all really great! It is a must read (or listen) for anyone who has true horror in their past and may be finding it hard to leave it in the past! Mackenzie is an inspiration to many, and maybe a lot of that is because she is unique in her ability to love and forgive unconditionally. With all that she's been through, that alone is exceptional and speaks volumes of her character!


Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 11/2/2014


Maybe it's just me but this one took a lot of concentration to understand what the author was getting at, and I still found my mind wandering in parts. It was like listening to my mother-in-law tell a story (she has to go around the barn to get to the front door). What took eight CDs to narrate could have been explained in about 100 pages. I wanted to tell the author to get to the point already. I could only tolerate it for 3 of the 8 discs. The title should have been, "Everyone BUT the Girl." Very little real info is given about women in history and the issues they dealt with, their suffrage, or anything other than backing their husbands. And it takes a lot to explain one point.


Moral Choices Made Simple (Made Simple (Amg))
Moral Choices Made Simple (Made Simple (Amg))
Author: Mark Water
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/24/2008


This book truly is simple. It takes some complicated issues and explains them in layman's terms. Good book for Christian teens, especially. Not a whole lot in there for adults who know the Bible, though.


Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 10/21/2014


This is the book most often referred to and used in NA meetings but you don't have to attend meetings to benefit from reading it. Even if you're a family member or close friend of someone struggling with drug addiction, the info presented in this book is very helpful and will give you a good look into the life of the afflicted person. It covers topics surrounding drug addiction and includes personal stories from people in various situations. It is best suited for drug topics. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, the AA book would be better for you than this one.


Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper -- Case Closed (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 10/1/2015


The beginning chapters are interesting enough but it lost me halfway through and I did not finish it. Like others have said, she begins with her conclusion and rather than stick to the facts surrounding Jack the Ripper, she makes it all about Sickert.


Silent Witness: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo's Death (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 10/1/2015
Helpful Score: 1


The Terri Schiavo case as recollected by a retired detective who paints Michael Schiavo as a controlling, abusive psychopath. Not that that's not accurate, but the first few chapters are fairly one-sided. The 'meat' of the book is kind of technical in terms of possible scenarios that Fuhrman recounts in an attempt to explain how Terri ended up in the "persistent vegetative state" that was exploited by so many for their own ends. Overall, it was a good read; interesting, informative and confirmed some of my own suspicions surrounding the case.


You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know
You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know
Author: John Eldredge
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 10/21/2014


Please note: This is a 52 page booklet that accompanies the "Wild At Heart" book (not included). It is a great little gift for the dad in need of some tips but doesn't like to read. There aren't any big revelations in this booklet and information doesn't go into a lot of detail, but it's simple and easy to understand. Perfect for keeping in the car and reading while waiting in line, riding on the train/bus or relaxing with a cup of tea before bed.


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