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review 2021-05-20 02:07
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY ZOO by Erin Soderberg
Monkey See, Monkey Zoo - Erin Soderberg,Erin Soderberg,Guy Francis

Willa loves getting treasure that falls into the Monkey Pit at the zoo even if it means she has to climb onto the ledge to get it. Getting in trouble for going on the ledge means that mama takes her dangly earring treasure. Thinking of an idea to get it back, Carter, a little boy, comes to look at the Monkey Pit and has a conversation with her. He also leaves his new backpack and he needs it for school tomorrow so Willa decides to leave the zoo and find Carter.

 

I enjoyed this story. I found it fun and interesting. I liked that Willa made friends outside of the zoo. The best ones were the chipmunks. Exploring the world outside the zoo was fascinating as Willa learned what was good and what was unsafe. Meeting some mean critters and people taught her to hide but she does not let it deter her quest. The other characters, especially Carter, are good. Villains abound as Willa tries to help. A good story for beginning readers.

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review 2021-04-18 16:24
Wonderful and original short story collection
Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales - Yōko Ogawa

A wonderful collection of short stories some dark some a little weird but all cleverly written. There is a loose connection theme running along side the clear prose that is always prevalent in Japanese literature. Highly recommended.

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review 2021-03-04 22:19
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of the Island and Tales of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery
Each Anne Shirley story is better than the last! You see growth, you root for her with her schooling, and you so want her to decide on Gilbert!
This story always makes me smile, and this is probably the tenth time I've read it. Anne really finds herself in this book. All of her friends are settling down, and in that time it was naturally expected at a certain age. She was of that age and eyes were on her to find someone. 
The ending is my favorite part. I am a sucker for sappy love!
Since I have not read further on in the series, I look forward to reading the next book sometime soon!
 
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2021/03/anne-of-island-by-lm-montgomery-9.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-10-12 12:55
Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien
Unfinished Tales - J.R.R. Tolkien

TITLE:  Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth

 

AUTHOR:  J.R.R. Tolkien

 

EDITOR:  Christopher Tolkien

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DESCRIPTION:

 "Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories.

The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan.

Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Númenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantíri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were edited by Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father’s writings."

_________________________________

REVIEW:

 

<!--block-->********************POSSIBLE SPOILERS**********************


Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth is exactly that - a collection of tales from Tolkien's Middle-earth universe that didn't make it into the Silmarillion, the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings.  The book is split into the First, Second and Third Ages, and miscellaneous sundry material.

We have a more fleshed out narrative of Tuor's journey to find Gondolin, and the trials of Turin son of Hurin in the First Age, followed by a geography and history lesson on Numenor (Tolkien's version of Atlantis) and the tragic love story of Erendis and Aldarion (Erendis is a bitch!).  There is additional information on Galadriel and Celeborn (Tolkien couldn't make up his mind!) and the ruin of Eregion (the elf who made all the magic rings ends up in Sauron's clutches).  
 


I found the sections involving the Third Age most interesting.  These include a fuller narrative of what happened to Isildur on the Gladden Fields (and the interesting things Aragorn finds in Saruman's tower), several extended narratives on the politics and friendship between Gondor and Rohan, a "missing chapter" of the Battle of the Fords of Isen where Theodred was slain, and a hilarious extra "chapter" on Gandalf's quest to convince Thorin to take a hobbit with him to claim his Kingdom Under the Mountain.  There is additional juicy information about Ringwraiths, Gollum, wizards (there were 5 of them!), Seeing-Stones and a peculiar race of humans called the Druedain.  


It really is a pity that Tolkien didn't manage to add some of these "unfinished tales" into his novels, even as appendices.  This book provides a selection of additional material for those who need to know more about Middle-Earth.  However, I do suggest reading The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, before reading Unfinished Tales to get the most out of this book.
 
 

NOTE:  To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the first ever illustrated edition of this collection of tales has been published in October 2020.
 

NOTE:  Re-read.  First copy of this book has been read and loved to death.


 
 
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review 2020-10-06 02:48
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning (The Guardians, #5) by William Joyce
Guardians Chapter Book #5 - William Joyce

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I began reading this series earlier this year with the intent to read each book back to back to get the full picture of what William Joyce wanted to tell the reader. I started well with my reading adventure, reading all the picture books and the first four books in the series in a timely manner. Then 2020 happened and slapped everyone in the face including myself. I'm not going to lie, guys. It's been hard. Extremely hard. With the pandemic, the civil injustices happening in my country, wildfires raging madly on the West coast, and personal issues happening throughout, I have not had the time nor the mental fortitude to dedicate to reading. My health (physical, mental, and emotional) has not been doing well either. I just feel like I've been all over the place as of late. With that being said, I am hoping things are settling enough that I can get back into reading. Still being mindful and aware we are not out of the woods yet (nor will we be any time soon), but also capable of treating myself right and enjoy a good book from time to time. I'm still mentally clogged with everything going on, but I want to try to get back into the hobbies I love and miss doing this year.

 

And with that, I bring to you my review of Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.

 

I really liked this book. It's not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I don't intend to go into too many details with this review since it's the final book in the series but I did want to talk about a few things that won't spoil the plot.

 

It's a very good book. And the conclusion, though not really what I was hoping for, was not bad in any way. However, I had a few problems with it as I was reading it. The first thing that bugged me was the pacing. Joyce wrote this book after the movie came out and it shows. Which is a bit of a bummer for since his original story was magnificent. In this book he tried to tie in the movie and book universes too much and it did not blend well. It felt disjointed at times and forced. The pacing suffered because of this as well. The beginning was very slow. VERY SLOW. He kept rehashing certain scenes from the previous books and also diving deep into moments that took placed in the past and not during the actual story being told. A lot of the story was told in "flashback" moments which took the reader out of the current plot. It felt messy and rushed in some areas and it dragged in others.

 

The characters are still loveable and unique. But they definitely took a backseat in this book. Joyce focused more on action and "plot" but he completely forgot about what a lot of readers picked up these books for in the first place and that was to see these amazing characters interact in this whimsical world he created. When those parts appeared in this book, it was incredible just like it was in the precious books. But they were few and far between. Most of the scenes in this book was one battle after the other. That's it. I wanted to see more of the relationships between all of the characters,

 

I especially feel Pitch was left as an afterthought, almost. Yes, he's a lingering presence throughout the whole book, but he doesn't actually make an appearance until the end of the book, if you're not including the flashback portion. It was very underwhelming seeing what happens at the end. I was hoping for more interaction, more feeling. It was like (and I'm keeping it vague here on purpose) Jack does a thing, Emily Jane says thanks, and that's it! I wanted Jack and Pitch to have a full on conversation! To come to the realization that they are not so different after all. To say thanks or sorry or something! But we didn't get much of anything and it felt very hollow.

 

The ending... I'm not a huge fan of. It was an ending that would have meant something if we were introduced to certain elements beforehand. Not almost 250 pages into the book. It felt, like most of this books, rather empty and pointless.

 

That's not to say this book is bad. It's not. I did like it. I was just expecting to see more of the characters I fell in love with interacting with one another and understanding one another. Instead I got a bunch of action with no real substance.

 

If you've read the other books in this series, I do recommend you read this one. It's good to see the conclusion to this amazing series. Just don't expect too much going in and you may enjoy this a lot more.

 

I'm glad that despite everything that's been happening in the world, I was still able to finish this series that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now. I don't know what I'll be reading next but I hope that I will continue to read regardless.

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