So, as some of you might know/remember, I'm a bit of a read-a-thon junkie. I totally love them and when I have time, I do awesome. But in January, I started a new job, one that takes up a significantly larger portion of my time and energy than any other job I've had before (and the fact that I have to drive for 40+ min just to get to work doesn't help much). So, I'm still trying to figure out how to balance job with fun with books with life with not coming home and crashing the second I walk through the door.
I haven't participated in a read-a-thon in ages. I almost cried when I realized in the middle of a Saturday that it was the Dewey 24 hour read-a-thon, I had had no idea it was happening, and I still had to work. It was pretty tragic. So, I'm *hoping* that this week, I will be able to successfully participate in the Bout of Books Read-a-thon!
Normally, for a week long read-a-thon, my goal would be in the double digits. (I mean, seriously. I've read 10 before for the Dewey Read-a-thon in one day.) BUT. I'm being realistic here. Considering that I've only read 18 books this whole year (2 of which are picture books, 2 are Calvin and Hobbes and 2 are graphic novels I read standing up in Barnes and Noble while on a lunch break) I think I'm being plenty ambitious hoping for one book a day (and even that might be a stretch right now).
The Read-a-thon goes from Monday to Sunday, so I'm hoping to read 7 books. And, I'm really going to have to try and push. So any words of encouragement here or on Twitter are greatly appreciated. I definitely need some extra mojo to get me back into the habit of reading! (and blogging, but that's a different post...)
My potential read-a-thon reads:
After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
Freshman Year and Other Natural Disasters by Meredith Zetlin
The Photo Album by K.B. Dixon
Karma by Cathy Ostlere (verse novels FTW)
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins (see above)
Lexapros and Cons by Aaron Karo
In Honor by Jessi Kirby (see- reading funk... I've been dying for this book for ages but haven't read it yet. :( )
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan (Printz Honor book)
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The Dirt by Lori Culwell
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Hopefully, I will remember to come update my progress. Well, really, hopefully there will be progress! :P
Anyone else participating? I'd love to hear from you! Good luck to you! (And to me! :) )
Sunday, May 13, 2012
The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy is that story. Who are these princes? What are their names? Their personalities? Healy has taken those bare boned details and created a delightfully entertaining story about who these princes really are and what happens after the "happily ever after".
This is the perfect middle grade book and if I had read this when I was a kid, I would have inhaled it. Which is not to say that I didn't like it now. On the contrary! I found it to be perfectly entertaining. The story itself wasn't without it's flaws (mostly that some of the princes real personalities totally annoyed me...) but the book was just... so perfectly readable and entertaining.
Even when they drove me crazy, I loved seeing a real side to these heroes who had previously often been demoted to nothing but a kiss and a title. My favorite was Prince Liam and that's all I'm going to say because I think these are characters that are best discovered on your own. Each of the characters in this novel start in one place and end in another that demonstrates growth as a person, but doesn't take away from who they actually are. I love that. I love seeing characters learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others, sacrifice what they want for what's best for others and just become better people.
The princesses aren't exactly what they appear to be in the original tales either. They are also given their own unique personalities and attributes (some good, some most assuredly not...) The side characters were also a lot of fun. I loved Liam's little sister Lila, the bounty hunter, the Bandit King and his group of bandits and the Trolls. Oh my goodness, the Trolls! They might possibly be my favorite part of the story. Seriously.
The book is told by a narrator, talking directly to the reader, who already knows the whole story and sometimes gets ahead of him/herself. I'm not normally a fan of that body-less/nameless narrator talking at me from the pages, but in this story, it worked. I never felt annoyed or pulled out of the story because of the narrator and I actually loved his little hints and nudges and secrets that the heroes really should know, but didn't.
I am so not doing this book justice. This review is all over the place, for which I apologize, but there is just so much going on in this book and it's just so fun and funny and charming (ya, I said it. So what). But really. You need to go out and read this book. If you like fairy tales, read it. If you like the funny and absurdly ridiculous, read it. If you know a kid (boy or girl) who likes action and bumblers and heroes and fun and awesome princesses, then go buy it/read it/share it. It's a book that I think has something to offer to everyone. Not everyone is going to love it, but I'll wager most everyone will definitely enjoy it.
It's the beginning of a new series. But it ends well. There is no cliffhanger, no annoyance when you turn the last page. If you wanted this novel to be it, you could read this one as a stand alone and be happy. But let's be honest. It's me we are talking about. I'm for sure going to be eagerly anticipating the next installment of these
Oh ya. And also... The illustrations? Fabulous. Like, seriously. Ashley is in love.
Check out the awesome guest post from Christopher during Fairy Tale Fortnight!
And here is a link to an excerpt with illustrations I posted!
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the awesome folks at Walden Pond Press in exchange for an honest review. And it is.