Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Break With Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials

Author: Ann Rinaldi
Title: A Break With Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials1
Series: Great Episodes
Publication Date: 1992
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: Historical Fiction/ YA
Synopsis: "Susanna English desperately wants to join the circle of girls who meet every week at the parsonage, but she doesn’t realize the leader of the group, the malicious Ann Putnam, is about to set off a torrent of false accusations that will lead to the imprisonment and execution of countless innocent people-victims of a witch-hunt panic."

I cannot believe that I put off reading A Break with Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials for so long. The story, characters, and Ann Rinaldi’s writing drew me in from the very first sentence and didn’t let go of me till long after I had finished reading it (like, a couple of days later).

I enjoyed how at the beginning of the book the witch trials were already over and that Susannah’s story was told from her remembrance of the tragedy and her part in it.
It was kind of horrifying to read about how people took advantage of the witch craze to make their neighbors suffer for the real or supposed wrongs that they had committed against them.
This time around I couldn’t put my thumb on a scene that I would single out as my favorite and I also (shocker) don’t have a single part of the book that I didn’t like. A Break with Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials was just too good and had too many great scenes to choose from.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in reading about the Salem Witch Trials.

A Break with Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

Orchid
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1. A Break With Charity: A Story About the Salem Witch Trials was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.


Books I got this week from the library and borrowed from my Mom.
What It Means to Be a Christian by Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
Synopsis: "Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, talks about how one lives as a Christian in today's secular world. As he recently emphasized in his first encyclical, he talks a lot about the meaning of love, the love of God and of neighbor; as well as the importance of a lived faith as a witness for our age and striving to bring faith in line with the present age."


Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowits
Synopsis: "It's just another day in the life of an average kid. If you're Alex Rider, that is.

A con artist has realized there is big money in charity— the bigger the disaster, the greater the money flow! So that is what he will produce: the biggest disaster known to man, all thanks to genetically modified corn that can release a virus so potent it can knock out an entire country in one windy day. But Alex Rider will face whatever it takes—gunfire, explosions, hand-to-hand combat with mercenaries— to bring down his most dangerous adversary yet."
Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
Synopsis: "Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.
Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.
And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways."

Ten Date Every Catholic Should Know by Diane Mozcar
(I can't find a synopsis for it)

Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock
Synopsis: "Sherlock Holmes, just thirteen, is a misfit. His highborn mother is the daughter of an aristocratic family, his father a poor Jew. Their marriage flouts tradition and makes them social pariahs in the London of the 1860s; and their son, Sherlock, bears the burden of their rebellion. Friendless, bullied at school, he belongs nowhere and has only his wits to help him make his way.

But what wits they are! His keen powers of observation are already apparent, though he is still a boy. He loves to amuse himself by constructing histories from the smallest detail for everyone he meets. Partly for fun, he focuses his attention on a sensational murder to see if he can solve it. But his game turns deadly serious when he finds himself the accused — and in London, they hang boys of thirteen."

 I'm about out of time to finish this post at the library... so thats my mailbox for the last week.  Can't wait to have my internet back. Happy reading everyone.

Orchid

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (3)

Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, 2008                                          "You never know when you’ll find yourself

falling through one of the cracks in the world.…
Two of today’s brightest stars of dark fantasy combine their award-winning, critically acclaimed talents in this spellbinding new tale of magic, terror, and adventure that begins when a young woman slips through the space between our everyday world and the one hiding just beneath it."


Mind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden Cities by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon.

Why: I want Mind the Gap because I loved reading Christopher Golden's Veil series. Plus this one sounds like another excellent read. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiny Blog: News, Questions, and Other Things

Today we have a little diversion from regular book blog posting.
Before I go and make a form or anything I would like some feedback from my wonderful followers. Would anyone be interested in being a guest reviewer at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia? Please leave your thoughts (whether it be yes or no) in a comment. 
In other news, I'm going to be missing from the blogosphere for awhile do to a change in cable and internet service. This break will give me time to catch up on writing some of my book reviews that are piling up.

Next on the agenda:
My friend Dahlia, of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind, has started a wonderful new blog called Book Blogger Library. Which is co run by her and Kate of The Neverending Shelf.
For more information about BBL or to join, just click here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gunpowder Green

Author: Laura Childs
Title: Gunpowder Green1
Series: A Tea Shop Mystery (book 2)
Publication Date: 2002
Number of Pages: 256
Genre: Mystery
Synopsis: "Charleston's annual Isle of Palms Yacht Race is the perfect occasion for boiled crab, iced tea, and social téte-a-tétes. From their vantage point in White Pine Garden at the top of the Historic Peninsula, Theodosia Browning and her fellow picnickers watch sleek J-24s hurtle towards the finish line, masts straining, spinnakers billowing. But the dramatic battle between Charleston's two rival yacht clubs turns tragic. The ancient Civil War pistol used for the traditional finishing line gunshot suddenly explodes, killing the patriarch from one of Charleston's oldest families. As her neighbors go into mourning, Theodosia begins to unravel a family secret that stretches back over a hundred years, making her wonder: Was this truly an accident--or murder?"


Gunpowder Green is the second book in Laura Child's series called A Tea Shop Mystery.

Even though Gunpowder Green was good and a thoroughly enjoyable read, it definitely wasn't on the same par as an Agatha Christie mystery.
The characters and story were both interesting and the book was well written, but it was extremely easy to unravel the plot.
One of my favorite things about this book would have to be how well the author describes South Carolina, which is where the book is set; I feel that she did a fantastic job at pulling you into the setting of the book.
My favorite part of Gunpowder Green would have to be when Theo's friend (I'm horrible at remembering names) is sneaking around suspects’ yards and taking samples of their soil. Even though that part isn't really mentioned it just sounds really funny.
The only thing I didn't really like about Gunpowder Green would have to be that in the end there were entirely too many revealed bad guys.
Gunpowder Green was delightfully light mystery read that’s hard to put down.

Gunpowder Green earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
____________________________________________
1. Gunpowder Green was borrowed from the library.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Bought:
This week I didn't make it to the library or a bookstore. Instead, I bought myself a 16 GB, 4th generation, black nano ipod. I'm really excited about it because now I can fit all of my music onto it, plus I got it for a great price.


Hopefully next week I'll have some books for an IMM. Happy reading and I can't wait to see what everyone else got this week.

P.S.
It was my turn to host Soundtrack Saturday on Rating Reads, so be sure to check it out. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Drowned Ammet

Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Title: Drowned Ammet1
Series: Dalemark Quartet (book 2)
Publication Date: 1977
Number of Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Synopsis: "The people of Holand in South Dalemark are bitterly oppressed by the tyrannical earl Hadd. Informers, secret police, and cruel rent-collectors terrorize the countryside, and Mitt has grown up with more than enough reasons for joining the freedom fighters."

I just realized that I have past the 300 mile marker on posts. *does happy dance* I'm quite shocked right now and am going to get back to sharing my thoughts on Drowned Ammet.


While I really enjoyed reading Cart and Cwidder, I thought Drowned Ammet was the better of the two.
I liked Drowned Ammet more because it had more action and the story was darker then the previous book.
One of the things that made Drowned Ammet so good is how the story is told from two very different points of views. On one hand you have Mitt, who is trying to avenge the death of his father by turning against the Freedom Fighters that betrayed his father and make Earl Hadd pay for his crimes against the common people of South Dalemark; while on the other hand you have Ynen and his sister Hildy who are the Earls grand kids. Spoiled, yet unhappy with their stations and with how they're treated.
I loved how the story was quick paced without the book seeming like it was skipping or glossing over certain points.
My favorite part of Drowned Ammet would have to have been when Mitt, Ynen, and Hildy ended up traveling together and the squabbles that ensued from their mistrust of each other. Although, the twist near the end of the book was a bit of a shocker, which makes it my second favorite part of the book.
Least favorite part of the book would have to have been how Mitt's mother was the one who pushed him to take revenge on the Freedom Fighters, and how she kept spending the little money that they made on frivolous stuff.
I would definitely have to say that Drowned Ammet is one of the best books by Diana Wynne Jones that I have ever read.

Drowned Ammet earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
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1. Drowned Ammet was borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (2)

While I Live by John Marsden, 2007.                                                    "For Ellie Linton, being back on the farm with her parents is what makes the terrible things that happened during the war -- the things she, Homer, Lee, Fi, and the others had to do -- all worthwhile. It's where she belongs. But the war won't let her go. A devastating tragedy has shattered any hope she ever had to reclaim her life, or herself. It's a new kind of fight. And the enemy isn't always from the other side of the border."

Why: I would love to have While I Live, the first book in The Ellie Chronicles because I absolutely loved reading the Tomorrow series. Plus I can't wait to read more about Ellie and her friends. :)
 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy 101 Award

The Happy 101 award from La Coccinelle of The Ladybug Reads. Thank you.
I'm horrible at getting this out in a timely fashion.
List 10 things that make you happy and then give this award to 10 book blogs that brighten your day.

Ten things that make me happy...
1. Family
2. Reading
3. Comics
4. Sports
5. Buying books
6. Blogging
7. Summer
8. Sunny days
9. Locating a hard to find book
10. Playing video games

Ten blogs that brighten my day....(hmm, that's a tough one since there're some many amazing blog out there) and they are...
Teens Read and Write
Dahlia's Eclectic Mind
Crackin' Spines and Takin' Names
The Neverending Shelf
Tales of the Ravenous Reader
Books At Midnight
Ellz Readz
I Was A Teenage Book Geek
A Park-Avenue Princess

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cart and Cwidder

Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Title: Cart and Cwidder1
Series: Dalemark Quartet (book 1)
Publication Date: 1975
Number of Pages: 240
Genre: YA/Fantasy
Synopsis: "When their father, a traveling minstrel, is killed, three children involved in rebellion and intrigue inherit a lute-like cwidder with more than musical powers."

Cart and Cwidder was so good that I had the hardest time putting it down and started the second book in the Dalemark Quartet immediately after.

While I really liked the story for Cart and Cwidder, I absolutely loved the characters in it.
One of the things that I like the most about Diana Wynne Jones' books is the worlds that she creates and the atmosphere of her writing. It just sweeps me into the story and leaves me itching to read the next book.
The best part of the story would have to be how a couple of the adult characters had their own agenda, which added to the intrigue of the plot, like how the "Porter" was a spy for the North and passing on information about the South.
My favorite part of Cart and Cwidder would have to be when Moril and Brid and Dagner are trying to get Kialan safely to the North after the death of their father. This was my favorite part because it held more adventure and danger for the characters then previous parts of the book.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be shortly after their father's death; it was just kind of anticlimactic, but then it picked up considerably.
Cart and Cwidder was definitely one of Diana Wynne Jones' best and one of my new favorite fantasy reads.

Cart and Cwidder earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
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1. Cart and Cwidder was borrowed from the library.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

In My Mailbox (36)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.
Library:
Author: R.L. Stine
Title: The Face1
Series: Fear Street (book 34)
Publication Date: 1996
Synopsis: "They say something horrible happened that day. But Martha can't remember any of it--not the smallest detail. They say it will come back to her in time. But someone wants her to remember now. She draws his face, over and over--the face of a dead boy. She can't control her hand. And she can't remember how he died. But she's going to find the answer."

Author: Jane Yolen with Bruce Coville
Title: Armageddon Summer2
Publication Date: 1998
Synopsis: "Fourteen-year-old Marina and sixteen-year-old Jed accompany their parents' religious cult, the Believers, to await the end of the world atop a remote mountain, where they try to decide what they themselves believe."

Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Title: Charmed Life3
Series: Chronicles of Chrestomanci (book 1)
Publication Date: 1977
Synopsis: "Cat doesn't mind living in the shadow of his sister, Gwendolen, the most promising young witch ever seen on Coven Street. But trouble starts brewing the moment the two orphans are summoned to live in Chrestomanci Castle."

Author: Susan Hubbard
Title: The Society of S4
Publication Date: 2007
Synopsis: "If you ever want to hide from the world, live in a small city, where everyone seems anonymous."

That's the advice of twelve-year-old Ariella Montero, who lives with her father in Saratoga Springs, New York, in a house haunted more by secrets than by memories. The Society of S traces her journey south, to Asheville and Savannah, and on to Florida, as she learns that everything she knows about her family is a lie."

Author: R.L. Stine
Title: Eye Candy5
Publication Date: 2004
Synopsis: "Lindy Sampson is a twenty-three-year-old New Yorker with a problem: She’s too beautiful. Guys are intimidated by her. Her roommate suggests Internet dating and writes a Personal ad for Lindy, calling her “Eye Candy.” The responses pour in. Suddenly, Lindy is dating four guys at once–and having the time of her life. Until she gets a terrifying note that warns: “Don’t say no, Lindy. Keep going out with me. I’ll mess you up if you ever say no.”

I went a little crazy this week with borrowing at the library. This week i have to books that are re-reads; The Face by R.L. Stine, I read this one a few years ago and haven't been able to get it off my mind. Let's hope that it's just as good as I remember it being *crosses fingers*. My other re-read is Armageddon Summer by Jane Yolen with Bruce Coville, I was very intrigued by the story the last time I read it and can't wait to see if I still like it.
Charmed Life, Eye Candy, and The Society of S are all first time sreads and I'm very excited to read and review them.
Well that's all for me this week in books. Cannot wait to see what everyone else got in their IMM.

__________________________________________________
1. The Face was borrowed from the library
2. Armageddon Summer was also borrowed from the library.
3. Charmed Life was borrowed from the library.
4. The Society of S was also borrowed from the library.
5. Eye Candy was borrowed from the library.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Rowan

Author: Anne McCaffrey
Title: The Rowan1
Series: Tower and Hive (book 1)
Publication Date: 1990
Number of Pages: 328
Genre: Sci-Fi
Synopsis: "The Rowan was one of the strongest Talents ever born, but she was also lonely and without family, friends --or love. Then a telepathic message came from a distant world facing an alien threat, a message sent by an unknown Talent named Jeff Raven, and be it power, danger, or love--the Rowan is about to meet her match."

I admit that I had no idea what The Rowan was about when I picked it up from the library. Can you believe that I put a book on hold with out reading the synopsis? There are very few authors were I would just pick up a book by them without having the slightest inkling about the story, but Anne McCaffrey is one of my favorite authors and didn't let me down with The Rowan.
One of the things I liked the most about The Rowan would have to be how the most important characters, like the Rowan, all have some kind of psionic power and that they use them to transport things between the different planets and moons. 
I liked the MC the Rowan in the first part of the book when she was still on Altir and learning to use her powers, but I didn't much care for her after she was made Prime of Callisto and when she fell for Jeff.
I felt that Rowan lost her edge and became too dependent upon Jeff and their relationship. Which was frankly annoying because I hate it when the character goes all soft just because they have fallen in love.
The only upside to her falling in love is that she was able to get over her fear of traveling and come to terms with her past.
My favorite part of The Rowan would have to be when her Pukka was destroyed, by the niece of her guardian, and she was trying to put it back together. I liked that part because it was very vivid and dramatic.
The only drawback to this book would have to be that there weren't any chapters. The book was broken down into three or four parts, which made it hard to find a point at which I could put it down with out being in the middle of something. 
The Rowan was a great fantasy book by one of my all time favorite authors (Anne McCaffrey) and I cannot wait to read more of her books.
The Rowan earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
__________________________________________________________
1. The Rowan was borrowed from the library.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wish List Wednesday (1)

The Lab by Jack Heath, 2008
"Meet a 16-year-old superhuman: Agent Six of Hearts. He's the strongest, most effective agent in the Deck, a team of special agents fighting to uphold justice in a completely corrupt world. Six would be invincible if not for a deadly secret. He is the product of an illegal experiment by the Lab - a ruthless division of the corporation that controls his world. When the Deck begins to investigate the Lab, Six walks a tightrope between his two worlds, trying to keep his origin a secret.



But then he meets Kyntak, a boy whose past equals his own. As Six's life spirals out of control, he must face his most dangerous, thrilling mission yet."

Why: Because it sounds awesome and I haven't read a new spy book in ages. Plus I really like the cover of the book.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tattoo

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Title: Tattoo1
Series: Bailey (book 1)
Publication Date: 2007
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: YA/Mystery/Thriller
Synopsis: "Bailey Morgan isn't the type of girl who shows a lot of skin, but somehow, she ends up in a dressing room at the mall with her friend Delia applying a temporary tattoo to her lower back. Never one to suffer fashion doubt, trendsetter Delia knows exactly where she wants her own tattoo: on her stomach, right where her shirt ends—can you say "midriff"? Annabelle, the quiet one, chooses the back of her neck, and tomboy Zo plasters hers on the top of her foot. The tattoos will last for three days, and Delia's sure that with them, the four friends will absolutely kill at the school dance.
Unfortunately, killing is just what someone has in mind, and Bailey, Delia, Annabelle, and Zo are in for the battle of their lives. Along with her tattoo, each girl receives a gift—a supernatural power to help them in their fight. As Bailey's increasingly frightening dreams reveal the nature of their enemy, it becomes clear to the girls that it's up to them to save the world. And if they can get Delia to stop using her newfound power to turn gum wrappers into Prada pumps, they might actually stand a chance."

I have actually been trying to read a book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes for quite some time, but I could never find a copy of any of her books at either the library or a bookstore. So when I saw that Tattoo was in my libraries system I decided that it was time to give her a work a try and it was definitely worth the wait.
Out of all the books that I have read, and that's a lot of books, the characters in Tattoo were some of my favorites. I loved how different the four girls were from each other, but what made them truly likable in my book would have to be how close they were to each other. The two that I liked best were Bailey and Zo.
The reason I picked Zo and Bailey as my two favorite characters from the book would have to that I loved the friendship and camaraderie between them and the way they stuck up for each other.
I'm not sure why I found it funny, but the funniest part of the book to me would have to be when Bailey, Zo, Delia, and Annabelle were adding "In Bed" to the end of everything and having a giggle fit.
My favorite scene in Tattoo would have to be the final battle against the big bad that wanted revenge. I'm glad that the final showdown didn't fall flat. Plus it was really interesting to see how they defeated her.
My least favorite part of the book would have to be that it just went by entirely too quick and that I was done with it so soon.
Like I said at the beginning of my review Tattoo was well worth the wait and I hope to get a chance to read another of her books in the future.

Tattoo earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.
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1. Tattoo was borrowed from the library.

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