Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Book 98 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 29 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 1 of 4 for the RIP IV Challenge
Award: YALSA Top Ten

Series: Book 1 of 6 (Vampire Academy)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I seem to be on a little run of books everyone else loves, but I don't. It's making me feel like a stick in the mud! Twilight was the first vampire book I had ever read. After all this time, I decided to give another vampire series a try.

Vampire Academy actually has a really good plot. Lissa is a mortal vampire and Rose is her half-vampire guardian. They had escaped from their school because of a perceived danger there, but after two years they are found and brought back to the academy. Integrating back into normal life is difficult for them as vicious rumors swirl about them both. Lissa develops an unlikely friendship with an outcast vampire whose parents chose to be evil immortal vampires, while Rose develops a crush on her brooding guardian trainer. However, Rose knows that whatever was threatening Lissa before is still there, and she needs to find out who it is before something happens to them both.

I almost gave up reading this book a couple of times. But, I am glad I stuck it out. The ending was wrapped up well, and the cliffhanger isn't too bad for a series. But the execution was a little too sexual for my taste, and the writing (choppy) and editing (typos and grammatical errors) left something to be desired. I can see why teens love this series, but the sex, drugs, angst, and foul language took me right to my tolerance limit.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Library

Friday, August 28, 2009

Challenges, Challenges

Time to update my challenge progress:

I have finished the Book Awards III Reading Challenge. My five books for this challenge were:

  1. Still Alice (Bronte Prize)
  2. These is My Words (Arizona Author Award, Willa Cather Literary Award finalist)
  3. The Lincolns (NCTE Orbis Pictus Award/Honor Book; Booklist Editors' Choice; Horn Book Fanfare; Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; ALA Notable/Best Books; Kirkus Editors Choice; Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award/Honor)
  4. When You Reach Me (Kid's Indie Next List "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers" 2009; Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009)
  5. The Education of Little Tree (American Booksellers Association Book of the Year (ABBY) award)
I'm looking forward to joining in again when Book Awards 4 starts in February.

I'm also joining two new challenges!

First up, the Middle Grade Book Challenge. This challenge runs from September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2010. I'm going to be participating in Challenge 2, which is to read 25 middle grade books.

Some of the middle grade books on my to-read list are:
  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  2. The Wednesday Wars
  3. Chains
  4. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
  5. The Graveyard Book
  6. The Giver
  7. Charlotte's Rose
  8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  9. Elijah of Buxton
  10. Becoming Naomi Leon
  11. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
  12. The Boy Who Dared
  13. Angel on the Square
  14. Little Women
  15. The City of Ember
  16. Esperanza Rising
  17. The Secret Garden
  18. The Year the Swallows Came Early
  19. The View from Saturday
  20. The Ransom of Mercy Carter
  21. Bella at Midnight
  22. I, Coriander
  23. Hoot
  24. The Lacemaker and the Princess
  25. The Princess Diaries

I'm also going to join Carl's R.I.P. IV Challenge (that's R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril). The challenge is to read books in the following genres:

Dark Fantasy.

I'm going to shoot for Peril the First, which is 4 qualifying books between now and October 31, 2009. On my to-read list are:
  1. Shiver
  2. Vampire Academy
  3. The Stolen One
  4. Jane Eyre
I'm bad about keeping to my lists, so we'll see!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jellicoe Road

Jellicoe Road Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Book 97 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 28 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Awards: Michael Printz Award; Kirkus Editors Choice; Cybils Finalist

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I might as well just say up front that I cannot rave about this book. I have not read a single review where the reader did not love this book. So, just take what I have to say with a huge grain of salt.

The first 150 pages of this book are somewhat confusing. It's clear that there are two story lines going on, but what isn't clear is how they relate to each other. Normally, I would have given up long before the 150-page mark, but I read many reviews that said just to keep going. And all of a sudden, I did understand what was going on. But I also understood much more than that, and I had the other 250 pages of the book totally figured out, making the book both confusing and predictable all at the same time.

The book is set in the Australian countryside at a boarding school. Taylor Markham is a 17-year old student, who is a school leader and helps look after the younger students. The students are involved in a turf war with the Townies (kids who live in the town) and the Cadets (who come to camp near the school for a couple of months each year) and Taylor also leads her school's crusade. Taylor's mom ditched her at a nearby 7-11 when she was 11 years old, and she was taken in by a woman named Hannah who works at the school. But Hannah has gone missing, which has Taylor very concerned and unnerved, especially with a serial killer on the loose nearby.

There is a lot of teenage angst in the book. It reminded me of Looking for Alaska, Catcher in the Rye, and The Outsiders all in one. I'm just not a huge fan. There's also plenty of controversial themes involved including drug use, sexual issues, suicide, death, and teen pregnancy. But, I did enjoy Taylor's process of self-discovery. And while much of the book is sad, there's also a lot of hope in there too. I enjoyed reading about the friendships the characters made and how they decided to solve problems together. It was an interesting story, and I did care about the characters.

This Printz-award winner is definitely only appropriate for older teens because of the coarse language and thematic issues.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Library

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Team Moon

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh

Book 96 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 27 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Awards: Golden Kite Award/Honor Book; NCTE Orbis Pictus Award/Honor Book; ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Robert F. Sibert Nonfiction Award/Honor Book; ALA Notable/Best Books; Kirkus Editors Choice; AAAS/Subaru Prize

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I wanted to read it. Our family has had passes to Kennedy Space Center this year, and we have a love for all things space-related. This informative and fascinating book did not disappoint.

The author uses a pictorial approach to document the various stages of the Apollo 11 mission, starting with the preparation. We learn that alarms that went off right before the LM landed on the moon, they nearly ran out of fuel, and there was a frozen slug of fuel in the fuel line that could have caused an explosion. We learn how the space suits were made, how the images were transmitted from the moon to the television (despite a massive windstorm in Australia), and how the astronauts had to learn to take great pictures.

I found the team effort documented in this book to be inspiring and even emotional at times. I never really gave much thought to the unselfish attitude of Michael Collins, the astronaut who stayed on board the spacecraft while Armstrong and Aldrin played on the moon. I never really noticed that Apollo 11 is the only mission where the patch does not display the names of the astronauts--a conscience decision in deference to the 400,000 people it took to put man on the moon.

This book is written on a 7th grade level, so it is pretty serious and in depth. Younger readers will be drawn to the book, but will probably need guidance and help from an adult to fully understand everything. I enjoyed this immensely and learned a lot. This is a must read for space enthusiasts.

Also reviewed by:
Source: Library

Monday, August 24, 2009

Babymouse: The Musical

Babymouse: The Musical Babymouse: The Musical by Jennifer L. Holm

Book 95 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 26 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Series: Book 10 of ? (Babymouse)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My almost 9-year old has been voraciously reading the Babymouse books this summer. She even decided to use her allowance money to buy four of them. I was sitting next to her the other day and I decided to pick this up and she watched me read it. We had so much fun laughing and giggling together (even though she's read it many, many times).

This is the 10th book in the series, but is my first exposure. Babymouse is an elementary school mouse. In this installment, she is persuaded by a new British student, Henry Higgins, to try out for the school musical. Babymouse is dramatic, but she's not terribly coordinated, and mayhem ensues.

Reading these books is kind of like watching a Disney movie. My kids and I both enjoy them, but we are laughing at totally different parts. I loved the Narrator and references in this book to A Chorus Line, Grease, and Phantom of the Opera. My daughter doesn't really get that, but it doesn't matter to her. She loved the references to High School Musical and the situational comedy.

I can see why my daughter likes these. I may even have to pick another one up so we can laugh and giggle together again at Babymouse's antics.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Purchased (by my daughter!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best Intentions

Best Intentions: A Novel Best Intentions: A Novel by Emily Listfield

Published by: Atria, part of Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1416576711 (isbn13: 9781416576716)
Date published: May 5, 2009
Number of Pages: 338

Book 94 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 25 of 50 for the New Author Challenge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn't the sort of book I'm in the habit of reading. But, I've always enjoyed a good mystery, so I was delighted when the publisher sent me a copy to review.

The plot follows Lisa Barkley, a working mom in New York City. She has a lot of stress in her life--a precarious job situation, her two middle school-aged daughters, and a husband who seems to be distancing himself emotionally, perhaps because of mounting financial concerns. Money is tight, but the daughters are enrolled in an exclusive Upper East Side school in an attempt to give them advantages Lisa never had. In the process Lisa always feels the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses, which just isn't a possibility. Lisa becomes convinced her husband is having an affair, but her best friend Dierdre tells her she has nothing to worry about. Dierdre herself is in a dangerous relationship, and Lisa doesn't know who to turn to.

In the first part of the book, the characters are richly and intricately drawn. The plot was slow in parts at the beginning, but it set the stage so well for what was to come. The second part contains the whodunnit element, and I could not put it down! If I have a complaint about the second half, it was that it was all over a little too quickly and there were a couple of details I would have liked to have seen fleshed out a little more.

The book was so well-written, the prose was a pleasure to read. The overall tone of the book is melancholy, but would make an excellent fall-to-winter read. There were a few passages where I thought the author strayed into some moralizing that I didn't agree with. But I was riveted to the characters and their story and I felt a vested interest in what was happening.

This is an adult book with some very adult issues and themes, although not overly graphic. There is the use of expletives in parts, but it wasn't over-the-top for me.

I enjoyed this and would definitely read something else by the same author.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Publisher

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls, #2) Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Book 93 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Series: Gallagher Girls (Book 2 of 6?)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Usually I expect second books in a series to be a little bit of a let down after the initial newness of a series wears off. But, I thought this book was just as much fun as the first one.

Returning to school after a CIA debriefing, Cammie can tell that her mother (the headmistress) has something on her mind. But she doesn't know what to think when she realizes that something has to do with boys. She might be a genius, but when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex, Cammie and her friends have a lot of learning to do.

This young adult series is clean, funny, unique, a little mysterious, and has a dash of romance. Recommended for 11+. I'm really enjoying these, and I can't wait to get my hands on the third one.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Purchased

Monday, August 17, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1) I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Book 92 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 24 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Series: Gallagher Girls (Book 1 of 6?)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cameron Morgan is a sophomore at a school for exceptional girls. The general public has no idea how exceptional they really are--because the girls are trained to be spies. When Cammie and her two best friends are out in the town on a recon mission for a class assignment, a boy named Josh notices Cammie. But he's a regular high school kid, and Cammie isn't. She wants a relationship with Josh, but it is strictly forbidden. Should she stay away? Should she lie about who she is?

I found this book so enjoyable to read. Disney has optioned this book for a movie, and I have to admit that it would really make a fun flick. You can't look too deep into a book like this. It's far-fetched and implausible. But the humor is great and the plot really clips along.

I think there may be a couple minor swear words, but the book is refreshingly clean considering the ages of the characters. I would recommend it for 6th grade and up. I've already started the second book in this series!

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: BookMooch

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Book 91 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 23 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 8 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge (New Zealand)

Recommendations: Booklist, Starred; Bulletin-Center Child Books; Chicago Tribune; Horn Book; Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review; New York Times; Publishers Weekly, Starred; School Library Journal, Starred Review; Washington Post Book World

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Calpurnia (Callie Vee) is an 11-year old girl with six brothers who lives in Central Texas in 1899. She despises the traditionally female tasks of cooking and sewing. Instead, she develops a relationship with her amateur scientist grandfather and spends the summer days making observations in her notebook. Her grandfather teaches her about Charles Darwin, and Callie Vee develops a love for the bounties of nature.

I really liked Callie as the protagonist. She's got all the fiestiness I love in a girl pushing the envelope on traditional gender roles in a time when that just wasn't done. Her brothers provided some comic relief, but I felt like sometimes they weren't true to the age they were written. Callie's mother downright drove me crazy. She spent her time trying to force Callie into domestic servitude while drinking her way through the day.

I was really excited to read this book. But early on I realized that the plot just wasn't grabbing me as much as I wanted. I didn't find it to be a real page-turner, and I think at 340 pages middle graders might find it with not enough action to hold their interest. I wasn't really happy with the resolution, or lack thereof. Quite frankly, if the book were to carry on, I imagine it would end very sadly on all accounts.

The naturalist side of me really enjoyed Callie and her grandfather bonding over nature. They developed a unique relationship, but I don't think it was fully explored. Girls Callie's age may enjoy imagining what life was like 100 years ago. But before recommending it, I would caution that alcohol plays a big part in this book between Callie's mother, Callie getting her first shot of whiskey, and her grandfather's determination to make whiskey out of pecans.

Overall, I liked it. The book has a great premise, but I didn't love the execution.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Library

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Education of Little Tree

The Education of Little Tree The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter

Book 90 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 22 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 3 of 3 for the Southern Reading Challenge
Book 5 of 5 for the Book Awards III Challenge
Award: American Booksellers Association Book of the Year (ABBY) award

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book has been marketed as the "true story" of a young Cherokee boy in the 1930s, raised by his grandparents in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. The book is, in fact, completely fictional. There is quite the controversy over this book since Oprah had it on her list for years and then took it off when she realized it was fiction.

I might have been able to get over the fiction/nonfiction issue. I read Mutant Message from Down Under a few years ago, and there is a similar issue with that book. I don't mind so much as long as the book makes me think, true or not. But the first half of the book put me to sleep. I did enjoy the second half as there is more plot. Still, I found the characters to be painfully one-dimensional.

The relationship Little Tree had with his grandparents was sweet. The naturalist side of me also enjoyed some of the observations about the earth and our role in the circle of life. But there was a certain degree of crassness that set me on edge, especially if these are supposed to be the observations of a six-year old.

Click here if you want to know more about the man (he founded a paramilitary KKK splinter group in the 1950s) or the book (talk about reinventing yourself!).

Have you read this? What was your take?

Source: BookMooch

Monday, August 10, 2009

When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Book 89 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 21 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 4 of 5 for the Book Awards III Reading Challenge

Awards & Praise: Kid's Indie Next List "Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers" 2009; Amazon Best of the Month, July 2009; Starred Reviews from Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Publisher's Weekly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I'm going to try and not let my gushing get too out of control. But I loved, loved, loved this book. Not only will it be a favorite for 2009, but probably an all-time favorite. It's a juvenile book, but don't let that deter you. Just go get it.

Miranda is a sixth grader growing up in New York City in the late 1970s. She's essentially a latchkey kid but she has savvy street smarts. Strange things have been happening to Miranda that have her unnerved. I don't want to say too much, but her worries have something to do with a missing key, mysterious notes, and a mentally-unstable man who stands on the corner.

This book was like an intricate puzzle. I couldn't see the whole picture as I was reading it, but as the final pieces went in, I was amazed by how it all looked. I even cried. I don't own this book, but I will soon. I can't wait to reread it, and I can't wait to share it with my kids. (End of gushing.)

I would recommend this book for 5th grade and up. The word 'hell' is used twice and it is a coming-of-age type story. In reality, the older you are reading it, I think the more you'll get out of it. But before you read it, it will help if you've read A Wrinkle in Time and watched at least one episode of The $20,000 Pyramid at some point during your life.

Also reviewed by:
Did I miss yours?

Source: Library

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crown Duel

Crown Duel (Contains Crown Duel & Court Duel) Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

Book 88 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 20 of 50 for the New Author Challenge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think if I had read this book when it came out 12 years ago, I would have loved it. The problem is that I've read Graceling and Poison Study this year and liked them much better. I know that isn't really fair because this one came out first and Sherwood Smith deserves credit for that. But, I couldn't help compare this book to the others, so it is what it is. I enjoyed it, just not as much as the others.

This is a medieval tale, light on the fantasy and magic, and I thought the storytelling was great. Meliara and her brother Bran are lesser royals who pick up the fight against the evil king when their father dies. They have information that the king, who is taxing them beyond all reason for his personal benefit, is going to break a covenant with the magical Hill Folk who live near their mountain home. Meliara is brave, smart and well-intentioned, but she seemed to pass out whenever the fight really got going. I liked the political intrigue and court drama aspects of the book, but Meliara's naivete and poor people skills were frustrating to me. The romance side is predictable and it really only gets good at the very end.

To thoroughly confuse potential readers, this book comes in either a two-book format (called Crown Duel and Court Duel) or the one-book format I read (called Crown Duel). Personally, this really should be packaged as one book. I think if I had just read the first one, I would have been sorely disappointed. As it is, this was a fun and entertaining read, but not without its flaws. I liked that the book was very clean, and I would recommend it for fantasy-lovers and teenage girls.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Library

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Lincolns

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary by Candace Fleming

Book 87 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 19 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Book 3 of 5 for the Book Awards III Challenge
Awards: NCTE Orbis Pictus Award/Honor Book; Booklist Editors' Choice; Horn Book Fanfare; Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; ALA Notable/Best Books; Kirkus Editors Choice; Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Boston Globe/Horn Book Award/Honors; Junior Library Guild Selection

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I kept my eye on the SLJ Battle of the Books this year and saw that this book was the contender against The Hunger Games in the third round judged by Chris Crutcher. I figured even though it lost (The Hunger Games ultimately won the whole thing) it still had to be pretty good.

Candace Fleming uses a scrapbook approach to tell the story of the lives of both Abraham and Mary Lincoln. On each page, there are copies of newspaper articles, lithographs, wood cuttings, photographs, and handwritten letters. Instead of just reading the history in words, the scrapbook approach helps add life and meaning to the fascinating lives of the Lincolns.

Don't get me wrong. The scrapbook approach is not frivolous. Even though it is 155 pages, it took me multiple days to read. I wanted to fully immerse myself, explore every page and cram as many facts into my head as it would hold. This book is written on an 8th grade level, and I think it is an excellent resource for anyone interested in a serious study of Abraham and Mary, their upbringing, their family, his career, and his Presidency and the Civil War. It is well-researched and documented and includes detailed notes and an index.

I understand that Fleming has a book about Eleanor Roosevelt done in a similar style. I will definitely be looking into that one in the future. This is a fabulous way to read history. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last.

Also reviewed by:
Have I missed yours?

Source: Library

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Four Graces

The Four Graces by Dorothy Emily Stevenson

Book 86 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Four Graces, first published in 1946, is my favorite D.E. Stevenson novel thus far. That's really saying something since I have enjoyed them all!

This is the story of a vicar and his four grown daughters who live in a small village during WWII. The novel explores life and love for this endearing family during this period of history. There is a fun cast of supporting characters including the annoying aunt who arrives after her flat in London has been bombed, the Oxford scholar who has come to study Roman ruins, and the military personnel stationed nearby. There are a few minor characters who appear both in this book and The Two Mrs. Abbotts, and for me that only added to its appeal.

D.E. Stevenson has a unique ability to take regular daily life and write it in a way that is so compelling and fun. Apart from the romance angle of the book, which you can see a mile off, nothing really happens in this book. And yet, I was riveted. Tucked into the story are reflections on everyday life that would stop me in my tracks for their profundity.

This is a wonderful read I wholeheartedly recommend.

Source: Library

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where'd I Get My Books?

I thought I'd throw my two cents into this discussion currently making its way through the book-blogosphere. I had a look at the 88 books I've read this year and this is what I came up with:

Purchased: 20
Library books: 40
Mooched: 13
Review copies: 8
Gifts: 5
Borrowed: 2

My purchased books includes library book sales, used bookstores,, the Scholastic Warehouse sale, as well as the traditional Borders/B&N/Amazon books. So, they aren't all full-priced books, and I rarely buy without a coupon or sale of some sort. I must admit, I do enjoy purchasing books and supporting authors.

I'm happy that about half the books I read are library books. I'm trying to read more of what I have on my shelves, but I love the library and I have a degree in library science, so my trips to the library are never going to stop. However, I have slowed down since I finished the Support Your Local Library Challenge.

I review about a book a month for an author/publisher and for me that's a good balance. When I have too many review copies, I feel stressed. And stress and reading never mix well for me. I have five review books to read, two of which cannot be posted for another month or two.

So, overall I'd say I'm in a good place that works for me.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

Eyes Like Stars (The Théâtre Illuminata: Act 1) Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Book 85 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 18 of 50 for the New Author Challenge
Series: Act 1 of The Theatre Illuminata

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book started out great. I was totally lost at first, but that added to the initial appeal for me. Once I got my bearings, I was enchanted by the conceptual creativity of this book. But then it just didn't work cohesively enough to keep me interested.

Beatrice (Bertie) Shakespeare Smith lives in the theatre. In fact, her bedroom is actually a set on the stage, and her friends are the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The theatre is a magical place with it's own powers. But Beatrice has no real purpose there, and she is often in trouble for the pranks she pulls. So the Theatre Manager gives her an ultimatum. She must find something to do in the theatre that makes her invaluable, or she is kicked out on the street to make her way alone.

So, why didn't I love it? Well, there's a few things. Once I felt I had the magic/fantasy "rules" of the book worked out, they changed. And I never got comfortable with the fact that Bertie seemed so world-wise for her 17 years--wearing jeans, dying her hair blue, smoking, drinking, cursing--if she had never been outside and experienced the real world as a teenager. And there were too many plotlines with large holes, and stuff was happening so unreasonably fast that I just couldn't buy into it.

I almost gave this book 3 stars because it is so unique. But in the end, it really was just OK for me. Fantasy lovers and Shakespeare fans will probably adore this book. Eyes Like Stars has gotten rave reviews, and I'm definitely in the minority with my feelings. I hope you'll check out some of these other reviews:
Did I miss yours?