Monday, August 17, 2009

The Actor and the Houswife

The Actor and the Housewife
Shannon Hale
5 Stars

I had read a few reviews that this was not one of Shannon Hale's finest and that it was a lot of fluff, so after being so excited to get my hands on this book, I became a little weary. It has been sitting in my Amazon shopping cart for quite a while. Then I saw it at a local book store and I found myself buying it. (I justified it by saying it was supporting Utah writers and LDS fiction while NOT in Utah.)

I actually loved the book, it was super fun and cute and I can see why some people might find it fluff. I think Shannon Hale is so witty, I am not sure I would say it is my favorite book by her, but I really did enjoy it.

Becky is pregnant with her 4th child when she happens to run into her "dream" Hollywood star man, Felix. They share an elevator ride, a taxi (actually a limo) ride, dinner and dance. Then somehow, although they are both happily married, live in completely opposite worlds, have nothing in common, but become best of friends. They break up as best friends. They make a movie together. Over a span of 10+ years we read about their relationship.

Becky was such a fun character. I have a good friend that I envisioned the entire time reading this book. She is such a witty girl, always has something fun to say and I could see a lot of her in this character. Felix - I was wondering if Shannon Hale was envisioning Colin Firth the entire time? I sure thought he would fit the part. If I had to find one thing that I didn't like about the book, it was when Felix sang "I am a Child of God" in church. It was a sweet gesture, but it just bugged me. Mike. I couldn't believe how great Mike was, he was so trusting and only once did he say things bothered him. I felt bad for him at times and loved him at times. He really was such a great hubby.

The ending had me in tears and then tears some more and then stitches. I really want to elaborate, but don't want to spoil the ending. Let's just say I am very happy with the way it ended.

I really loved the fun and friendly banter. I could have dog-eared many pages with some favorite lines. I'm glad that I wasn't disappointed. In my opinion Shannon Hale has done it again.

Rise of the Evening Star, Fablehaven

Rise of the Evening Star, Fablehaven Book 2
Brandon Mull
4 1/2 Stars
In the Rise of the Evening Star Seth and Kendra find themselves back at Fablehaven helping their grandparents find and protect a hidden artifact that is on the grounds. Their grandparents have brought three specialist, a potion master, a magical relics collector, and a mystical creature trapper, to Fablehaven to help, but can they trust them?
I really enjoyed this book when in comparison to the first one. I loved how Kendra gained some confidence and I loved her new fairy powers. I was skeptical of Vanessa as soon as she wanted to share secrets. Seth in the cocoon and the "passing" was so gross and hilarious at the same time. So fun and cleaver! The last few chapters were very exciting and kept me turning the pages. It was a little reminiscent of the last few chapters of the first two Harry Potter books...lots of build up and then huge action at the very end.
I'm very excited about this series and can't wait to keep reading the next couple books. I know that they won't disappoint. With each chapter and book that I read I am more and more positive they are perfect for their target audience.

Story Time Monday

Today during school time we did what I like to call an "oldie-but-goodie" activity. I picked 3 books and then let the boys narrow it down from there. Then I read it to them and had them color their favorite part of the book. I think this is such a great activity for a few reasons. It really makes then use their listening skills when listening to a book, they have to pay attention and figure out what is their favorite part, and it helps them with their art skills as well.

Sometimes we (the 5 year old) struggles with the fact pictures aren't 'perfect' or how we imagine them in our heads, so it's good to just listen to a story and then practice drawing things we liked out it without getting upset.
We read Tikki Tikki Tembo. After a rocky morning of 'sibling rivalry' I was a little worried when I saw this picture. However, after asking him to explain it I was relieved to find out that it wasn't the little brother in the bottom of the well that was our favorite part. Apparently he just really wanted to draw a bunch of bricks and color them, or at least that is what he told me!