Heather's books

Sarah's Key
The Help
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
New Moon
Breaking Dawn
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Lightning Thief
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Notebook
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Heather's favorite books »

Friday, August 22, 2014

Is it scary enough?

Darkness Creeping by Neal Shusterman
Darkness Creeping: Tales to Trouble Your Sleep

By: Neal Shusterman

Genre:  YA Scary Short Stories

Pages: 126

Published: 1993

Read: August

3 0ut of 5

I have been a fan of Shusterman's since reading Unwind. I guess I just can't a story to scary me, however these stories were better and scarier than Schwartz.  He definitely completed each story and I felt the writing was better.  I enjoyed the illustrations more as well.  This book is not published in audio, however I think it would be a great choice, especially with a narrator that can create a creepy scary voice. This would be a good read for older junior high and high school teens.  There is also a sequel titled Darkness Creeping II: More Tales to Trouble Your Sleep.  Check them out if you dare.

Not Scary...

Scary Stories: The Complete 3-Book Audio Collection

By: Alvin Schwartz

Genre:  Juvenile Short Stories

Published: 1991

Audiobook: 3 discs ( 3 hours 3o mins)

Read: August

2 0ut of 5

I expected much better. Schwartz is very well known for his Scary Stories Collection, but I am not sure why they are so popular. I realize they are written for younger children, however often I felt he would get to the climax of story and it would just end. “And the dead man walked down the stairs…” The End…WHAT?? You can’t even tell it’s the end except the next story begins.  There were a few good stories, but they were funny rather than even the slightest bit scary. Schwartz does include some great campfire and other haunted games and I thought those were the only worthwhile stories.  I much preferred Neil Gaiman’s audio book collection, which were more unique weird adventures than scary.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A short story audio collection

The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection CD by Neil Gaiman
The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection CD

By: Neil Gaiman

Genre:  Juvenile Fantasy/Short Stories

Published: 2004

Audiobook: 1 disc (50 mins)

Read: August

4 out of 5

This collection of short stories will have listeners of every age smiling and laughing. I believe not every author is the best narrator for their audiobooks, however Gaiman pulls this off fantastically. (Another one of my favorite author/narrator is Richard Paul Evans). Gaiman states that he writes some stories that he intends to only be published in audio form and includes some of them in this collection. Usually with short story collections there is one or two (or more) that I don’t care for, this was not the case for this collection. Fans of Gaiman and/or Shel Silverstein will love these stories. I must say though that my favorite part was the interview of Gaiman at the end of disc which was conducted by his daughter. Absolutely adorable.  

Plainsong #2

Eventide by Kent Haruf


By: Kent Haruf

Genre:  Adult fiction

Pages: 320

Published: 2005

Read: August

5 out of 5

Haruf continues to write beautifully about simple life with simple people in a simple town. He has such a way with words that you feel as though they live in the same town and the characters are your neighbors.  Some of the stories are a continuation from Plainsong; others are new neighbors you will meet. Either way you will become friends or enemies, whichever you choose Haruf will provoke your emotions. My only criticism is that I wish Haruf included the chapter headings that he did in Plainsong, so you knew which character’s point-of-view that specific chapter was told. Overall, he once again did not leave me disappointed and I will be reading Benediction very soon. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

More believable for me than some nonfiction...

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay

By: Gayle Forman

Genre:  YA fiction

Pages: 201

Published: 2009

Audiobook: 4 discs (4 hours 48 mins)

Read: August

4 out of 5

This story is told by the perspective of 17-year-old Mia who, along with her family,  is in a tragic car accident. While in the hospital, she has out of body experiences and realizes the decision "to stay" is hers, and hers alone.   Since I believe that a person may experience a transitional stage while they fight for life or death, this story was more believable and realistic than even some stories claiming to be nonfiction, such as Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo. Of course, this is my own personal opinion.  I enjoyed the audio so much I am listening to the sequel, Where She Went, next.  It is told by the perspective of Mia's boyfriend, Adam.  The movie, If I Stay, is released in theatres this Thursday and I look forward to seeing it. I recommend this book to all fans of YA realistic (or tragic) fiction.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A good graphic novel for the boys


By: Doug TenNapel

Genre:  YA graphic novel

Pages: 264

Published: 2010

Read: August

3 out of 5

This is a hard review to write because while it was well-written and illustrated, Ghostopolis is not the type of graphic novel I enjoy. With the ghosts, violence, super heroes and paranormal themes, I would much rather read an in-depth novel. There are too many unanswered questions. Plus, the subject matter is definitely geared more towards teen boys. I did find this story more entertaining than other similar graphic novels I have read.  For a change, the illustrations were bright and colorful. The plot reminded me of the movie Beetle Juice and the book The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  Since I was so indecisive on this book, I have asked a teen boy to read it and let me know his thoughts. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Educational, Funny and Entertaining

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1-2)
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

By: Marjane Satrapi

Genre:  YA graphic novel

Pages: 160

Published: 2004

Read: August

4.5 out of 5

Reading this graphic novel, reconfirmed that my favorite graphic novels are biographic or historical in nature. I think this is because they are usually simply written without overwhelming you with facts. Since I didn’t enjoy history when I was younger and still can’t get into long-winded nonfiction books; well-written and illustrated graphic novels are an enjoyable way to reeducate (or learn something completely new) myself. This is definitely a great example. Persepolis is about a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is not only educational, it is surprisingly funny, entertaining, and a true eye-opener. I highly recommend it to everyone.