Monthly Archives: August 2015

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

After a sea captain stays in his family’s inn for an extended time, Jim Hawkins gets mixed up in a trip to an island in search of a buried treasure marked on the sea captain’s map. When Jim learns of a planned mutiny, he tells those in charge. The two groups split up on the island, battling each other while they both look for the treasure.

Although some parts are slow and drag along, the book is good overall. The descriptions are vivid. The story has exciting points that suck you in. Even after all these years, Treasure Island is still a great book to read.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 73
Pages Read in 2015: 20,880
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sara Crewe is a spoiled, but kind, little girl, dropped off at age 7 to live and learn at Miss Minchin’s Seminary for Girls. She is given anything she wants and soon becomes very popular with most of the girls (though one in particular is very jealous of Sara). When her papa loses his money and dies destitute, Miss Minchin turns Sara into a servant and begins to treat the child very poorly. A man from Sara’s homeland of India moves in next door and soon magic begins to happen and not just in Sara’s imaginative head.

I absolutely loved A Little Princess! The story is sweet and fun to read. It’s easy to guess how it will end, but that adds to the enjoyment. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 72
Pages Read in 2015: 20,706
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Orphan David Balfour sets off to find his uncle and his inheritance. His uncle turns out to not be nice and arranges for David to be kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Carolinas. The ship ends up wrecked, a murder happens in front of David, and he and the presumed murderer set out to cross Scotland without getting caught.

One would think that the exciting happenings in Kidnapped would mean the book would be exciting. This would be incorrect. Instead, it’s boring and drags on and on. It is slightly redeemed by the last few chapters. Those were good. It’s just a shame that the first 4/5 was so bad.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 71
Pages Read in 2015: 20,517
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is the story of a man who builds a time machine and travels to the future. After returning to the 1800s, he relates his story to his friends. He went hundreds of thousands of years to the future and discovered the human race had divided into two, one living underground and the other above. In the end the question remains, did he really go to the future or did he make it all up?

The Time Machine was written 120 years and is still loved today. The story is told from the viewpoint of one of the Time Traveler’s friends who was there when he returned from the future. H.G. Wells’ conception of the future is rather horrifying. The Time Machine is a must-read for anyone who loves sci-fi.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 70
Pages Read in 2015: 20,229
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A popular author’s first book

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The Haunted House on the Little Little Egg Harbor River by Lynne Leatham

Searching for their lost baseball, Tre and Kaylee end up in a deserted old haunted mansion. They find themselves in the middle of a mystery complete with nice ghosts, an evil ghostly traveler, hidden treasure, a complicated riddle, and a scroll created by a Greek goddess.

I read The Haunted House on the Little Egg Harbor River by Lynne Leatham to my 9 and 7 year old boys as a bedtime story. Usually I read one chapter of a book a night to them, but they begged me every time to read a second. As an adult, I could see the plot holes typical of childrens books, but even my logical 9 year old who often sees them, too, didn’t find any in this book. My 7 year old thought the story was true, ghosts and all. I highly recommend this book. It’s an excellent not-so-scary ghost story to read aloud with your kids.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 69
Pages Read in 2015: 20,111
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Zinzi December is one of the “animalled,” those who have committed crimes and now must announce this to the world by carrying their burden in the form of an animal with them at all times (hers is a sloth). Those with animals, commonly called Zoos, have magical gifts. Zinzi’s is finding lost things. She’s hired to find a missing teenage girl, half of a South African pop duo, iJusi.

Zoo City wasn’t totally horrible and I actually did want to find out how it would end, but it was still pretty bad. The author really likes four letter words, particularly the one beginning with F. The storyline was confusing and disjointed and randomly interrupted with chapters that didn’t fit at all. There were distracting side stories that weren’t necessary or could have taken up far less space. Also, the Zoos can apparently be pretty far from their animal before some sort of pain and nausea hits. It just didn’t make sense that if they are being marked as “bad” by the animal why they didn’t have to actually have their animal with them at all times. I do not recommend this book.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 67
Pages Read in 2015: 19,465
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book at the bottom of your to-read list (literally alphabetically the last book in my “to read” folder on my Kindle)

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Set in Georgia just before the outbreak of the Civil War through Reconstruction, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell follows Scarlett O’Hara as she navigates a changing country and changes in herself. The book is divided into five sections running from Scarlett being a carefree sixteen year old living on a plantation to twelve years later when she has burned so many bridges and has no one who really cares about her, but, being Scarlett, she vows to rise from her past because tomorrow is another day.

Gone with the Wind is very long, but totally worth reading. The story draws you in and even though Scarlett is not a very likable person, you can’t help but root for her and hope that next time she’ll make better decisions. The characters are well fleshed out and it’s easy to care about them and what happens to them. I can see why this book continues to be the favorite of so many even 79 years later. I highly recommend it!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 66
Pages Read in 2015: 19,081
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A Pulitzer Prize-winning book (1937)

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Filed under Historical Fiction