Monday, September 12, 2011

review: The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

Book:  The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Release Date: 08/30/11


Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their deaths.
Thirteen-year-old Alex tries his hardest to be stoic when his fate is announced as Unwanted, even while leaving behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted. Upon arrival at the destination where he expected to be eliminated, however, Alex discovers a stunning secret—behind the mirage of the "death farm" there is instead a place called Artime.
In Artime, each child is taught to cultivate their creative abilities and learn how to use them magically, weaving spells through paintbrushes and musical instruments. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurence for twins to be separated between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artime that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate, magical battle.

Hmm... Usually when i finish a book in one day it ends up in my absolute favorites section, but this one didn't quite make it. Perhaps it's the fact that i'm a twenty five year old reading a book made for those half my age. Perhaps i set my hopes too high. I don't know. That is not to say the book is bad per say. It's a pretty solid four. Just not good enough to be a five and absolute favorite.

The book is basically the story of Alex stowe who on his thirteenth birthday was deemed "unwanted". See in the world of Quill a person is either Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Those who are deemed "unwanted" are sent to their death. Basically to possess a creative mind is to be unwanted. It would seem that Alex's fate was set except it wasn't really. Marcus Today aka The Death Farmer aka the great mage of Artime saves every being deemed unwanted by transporting him to his made up world of Artime. There all kinds of magically creatures live and the residents learn "Art" based magic. The thing is that Quill doesn't know about Artime and it must stay that way. Otherwise Quill's army would attack. And it does. Take in some evil twins, sometimes eye rolling names, and a kiddier friendly version of Harry Potter and you get this book.

In a way i think in some area the author was trying to hard. The cover reads "The Hunger Games met Harry Potter" and it really isn't. It may have some similar features, but it isn't comparable. It's miss-leading and perhaps raised my expectations way! too high. Some of the names are just plain dumb "Claire Morning" and i find myself rolling my eyes a bit. I think take ten years off my age and i would find this book fabulous. It's completely kids friendly and has no "black magic" per say. That is not to say it's Winnie the Pooh magic. More of Classic Disney magic. People die, things happen, but completely kid friendly.

Final rating. 4 Bunnies. I was a bit bored with it at some times, but i'll come back for the next book. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: "England's Perfect Hero" by Suzanne Enoch

Book: England's Perfect Hero
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Release Date: 02/24/04


Lucinda Barrett's best friends ended up married to the men to whom they delivered their 'lessons in love'. So Lucinda decides to choose someone who definitely needs lessons, but someone who will not complicate her life. And that person is definitely not Robert Carroway.
Robert is nothing if not complicated, and though he is the brother of a viscount, he rarely goes about society, and finds the weather and hat fashions ludicrous subjects for discussion. Robert is attracted to Lucinda's unpretentious ways, her serenity and her kindness. When she chooses someone for her love lessons, Robert offers to help her deliver her lessons, but sets out to convince the woman he has fallen for to take a chance on love ... and on him.

Funny, i've read this book tons of times, but have never written a review on it. First thing first i fell in love with Bit Carroway in "The Rake". I remember being ecstatic on finding out that he had his own book. I can safely say by the fact that i keep coming back and re-reading it that its one of my absolute favorite books of all time. Being that fact it is a bit hard for me to write a review on it.

The book reads the best when you read the whole "Lessons in Love" series in order. In a way the whole series has been a character development for Bit and Lucinda. You can see each of them growing in each book. This can be said of all the characters in trilogy, but especially true of these two.

Lucinda is the last of the trio to enact her lessons. She has no particular scoundrel in mind so she decides to find a man that she'll like to marry. After all, Evie and Georgie ended up marring their students. She chooses Mr. Geoffrey Newcombe. Handsome, the 4th son of a duke, and a war hero to boot. Simply perfect and safe. If not cheating a bit in terms of her lessons. Things would have gone smoothly if she hadn't stumbled upon Georgie's brother in law who had to ask about the lessons. Who "also" had to have those haunting blue eyes.

Bit has been quite the recluse the last three years. Think tortured and hurt hero and here's you man. (He's also mine if he ever decides to make himself solid and comes out of the book). He suffers from what is now known as Post dramatic stress syndrome and finds himself in a black panic whenever he gets out of his comfort zone. Yet he finds himself drawn to Lucinda. She's his ray of sunshine in his black world. Something that he can even admit to himself sounds stupid, but is true. Overhearing Lucinda talking with Evie and Georgie he can't help but be intrigued. When Lucinda brings him some roses to start a garden he offers to help Lucinda catch her suitor as a trade off. Anything to spend time with her.

The relationship between Bit and Lucinda is very heart warming. You can just tell from almost the get go that they're perfect for each other. They start off as amiable friends and work their way into love before either of them realize it. A perfect example of how love and bloom from friendship and not love/lust at first sight.

This is a brilliant book and one I HIGHLY recommend.

Final rating: 5 golden bunnies. Perfect in every way