Thursday, July 16, 2009

Reviews: Next in Series

So I'm trying to catch up on all my reviews and these next two are both from series and are both Young Adult, so I'm just going to put them together :)



Second Helpings
by Megan McCafferty
349 pages

2nd book in the Jessica Darling Series.



So Jessica is moving on to her senior year of high school and trying to forget all things Marcus Flutie related as much as possible. She has a new goal for the next year (go to Columbia U! even though her parents have already vetoed all colleges in large cities), is still dealing with her best friend living far away, and has to come to terms with her grandmother aging and being put into a nursing home. All the while, there's the normal high school angst and drama lurking around every corner between Jessica and her friends/non-friends and new used-to-be-a-nerd-but-now-is-cute boyfriend. And of course, Marcus is there firing off mixed signals and keeping tabs on Jessica by befriending her grandmother because he happens to work at the nursing home.

I love Jessica. But I have a love/hate relationship with Marcus. One minute I'm thinking that he's just leading her on, and then I'm like "Oh my gosh, he's so SWEET! He wrote her a song!!" (which P.S. I had a boyfriend in high school who wrote me a song and it made me swoon, even though the song really wasn't that good...I think that I may possibly have a cassette tape of it somewhere in the "remnants of high school" storage bin...definitely have to find that...) but then I'm all "Ugh! He's leading her on again!!" So now I must continue the series since I would love to hear more from Jessica and I just have to know whether I like Marcus or not. I've already requested 3, 4, and 5 from the library. They should be in any day now...

8 out of 10 stars. This series is PERFECT for summer!





Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
by J.K. Rowling
652 pages

I've been rereading this series in preparation for the release of the 6th movie (which is based on this book). I just love Harry Potter. It's going to sit on my bookshelf forever so one day my kids then my grandkids can read it, I swear!!!

I had only read this one once, when it first came out so there was plenty of stuff that I had forgotten. Harry has mostly gotten past his angsty stage that occurred during all of the fifth book, so I was back to really enjoying his character. And Dumbledore was back to being involved in Harry's life and giving him lessons, which were really just preparing Harry for what he must do to defeat Voldemort in the end. There is just so much foreshadowing in these books, I can hardly believe it. I think that that is what makes them so interesting to reread. You can pick up on things that you know hint to things ahead (since you know what happens in the future) but of course, you didn't see it the first time around. So great. JK Rowling is a purty smart lady.

I'm not going to bore you all with a synopsis since I'm sure most people have read it and if you haven't then READ THIS SERIES! I highly doubt that anyone would regret reading HP. But, here are a few of my favorite parts:
  • Hearing about the early memories of Tom Riddle.
  • Harry taking the Liquid Luck and getting the memory from Slughorn.
  • Harry realizing that he likes Ginny and Ron and Hermione finally figuring out that they like eachother!
  • Hermione getting huffy about Harry doing better than her in potions.
  • Hermione losing a bit of the goody-goody-ness and Confunding Cormac! LOL
  • The Tonks/Lupin thing...LOVE!
  • Draco not being able to do it...there's hope for him, really!
  • and the end...oh Dumbledore...sooooo sad.

Then I went and saw the movie...and I really think that they did a pretty good job! Especially after the suckfest that was the fifth movie. I still don't know why they don't mention that Ron and Hermione are prefects and that Harry is Quidditch Captain, but I guess that isn't TOO important really. There were some really hilarious parts and while I was nervous that they would focus too much on the teenage love fest, it really was smoothly put in (except the beginning with the Underground coffee shop girl? what was that?). The fight in the end wasn't what I expected either, and the Tonks/Lupin story was pretty much entirely left out so I don't know exactly how they will deal with that story line during Bill and Fleur's wedding (oh and Fleur wasn't in the movie, so how will that work?). I wish that the fight scene would have been more dramatic and had more of the Order involved (like in the book) and I wish that they would have actually shown some of the funeral scene with the white tomb because that really could have been beautiful, but overall not bad for a movie adaptation.

10 out of 10 stars for the book. 8 out of 10 for movie.

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