Monday, September 06, 2010

Mini-review Monday

In which I write mini-reviews of books by some of my favourite authors. There's just something about all of these wonderful authors...

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett - Nine year old Tiffany is in trouble she's armed only with a frying pan, her Grandma's dubious book of magic and, strangest of all, tiny blue men in kilts, the Wee Free men, who have come looking for a new hag.

Oh see, I adore Terry Pratchett now! I really do. I was intimidated by him for absolutely years and now I'm one step away from fan-girl. This is the first book in the Tiffany Aching series, and I cannot wait to read thie rest!

Terry Pratchett writes brilliantly. I almost wrote 'for children' at the end of that sentence, but I realised I didn't mean that. He writes brilliantly for everyone, it's just that I'm drawn to his books for children and young adults more than anything else. There's just something about Pratchett that makes me ridiculously happy. In Wee Free Men, I fell hard for Nac Mac Feegle. Hilarious. Tiffany Aching is smart, resourceful and the kind of heroine that I'd like people to read about. Will be eagerly looking out for the other two books in the series!


Skellig by David Almond - When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister's illness, Michael's world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain. Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature - part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael's help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital. But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael's world changes forever . . .

Skellig is one of those books where everyone has something good to say and people have recommended it like crazy to me. There's only so long I could resist such forcefulness. And there's just something about David Almond that intrigues me. I've only read two other books of his and already I'm hooked. I want to read them all now and don't really know where to start.

Skellig was really beautiful. Thankfully it's quite a slim book, because I really didn't want to walk away from it. I was still thinking of it for days afterward as well.


Along For the Ride by Sarah Dessen - Auden has always felt like the odd one out. Since her parents' divorce she's shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene. But now Auden's realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything. Moving to her dad's house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights - and simply having fun. As she gets to know herself - and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes - can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?

I really love the covers of Sarah Dessen's covers. They're just so pretty. And I do love the stories that Dessen creates, even though sometimes I feel like her messages are a little heavy-handed and some things are a little sweet for my tastes (if you know what I mean?). I wasn't in love with Along For the Ride as much as some of her other books (like Lock and Key) but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I found myself relating more to Auden's step-mother, who was more than a little bogged down in caring for a newborn baby. Boy, have I been there. The relationships with Auden and her parents and Auden and the boy she likes are all quite believeable and suitably complex. It was a fun read, for sure!


Boy by Roald Dahl - The remarkable story of Roald Dahl's early years at school and with his family. Like his stories, Dahl's childhood tales are unmissable.

How many of us grew up reading Roald Dahl? I know I did, and absolutely adored every minute I spent with his books. I can't believe it's taken so long for me to read this autobiography of Dahl's early years! It really made me desperate to re-read Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even more, now I really can't wait to start reading his books to both of my boys. Hopefully they'll realise and appreciate the magicness of Roald Dahl's stories and characters!


Ransom My Heart by Mia Thermopolis and Meg Cabot - When beautiful, spirited Finnula Crais kidnaps the dashing knight Hugh Fitzstephen, she has no idea that she's ensnared the new Earl of Stephensgate on his way home from the Crusades. Nor does she realise that Hugh is quite happy to be kidnapped by an enchanting tomboy, and will do anything it takes to avoid being rescued. With Finnula determined to hold Hugh to ransom, and Hugh equally determined to steal Finnula's heart, it isn't long before the fireworks start! And just when it looks as if there might be a happy ending, disaster strikes. When an attempt is made on the new Earl's life, there is only one suspect - and even if he loves her dearly, Hugh can't let her get away with it . . .

And finally, we have Ransom My Heart! I thought it was quite a fun idea, when I heard that Meg Cabot would be releasing a romance novel written by Mia Thermopolis. It makes me giggle just a little bit, because this is one of those books that I asked N to pick up from the library closest to where he works. N picking up a romance novel from the library, teehee.

I'm not a big historical romance reader, but because it's Meg Cabot, I gave it a chance. I thought the story was quite cute, and I was sucked in pretty quickly. I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to Meg Cabot, but it was very fun and kept me entertained!


And there we have it. The first of my mini-review Mondays. What do you think? What sort of things are you looking for when you read mini-reviews? Let me know.


  1. Skellig is one of my all-tme favourite books and I adore everything Sarah Dessen writes.

    Great post!

  2. I think if I read anything more awesome book by David Almond that he might rocket onto my list of 'favourite authors!' Whereas Sarah Dessen is already there :)

  3. Very concise reviews dear! I have half-read Along for the Ride (since May!) so I should get back to reading it! I've read Ransom My Heart as a Meg Cabot intro but I suppose I should read more of her works...I did love Princess Diaries the movie though- does that count? :D

  4. Dwayne, I love how you say 'concise' instead of 'short and crap'! You really should finish Along For the Ride, it isn't her BEST one, but even so it's still better than a lot of other books out there :) And more Meg Cabot! Meg Cabot's a genius! (I do love the Princess Diaries movie, but it's not the same!)

  5. i loved boy when I was younger - the bit it the classroom always made me chuckle!

  6. I read boy when I was much younger and I thought it was really interesting where he got the idea for Charlie and the Chocolate factory, its a really good read

  7. Kirsty and Jessica - it was my first time reading Boy! I really wish I'd read it younger, around the same sort of time I was reading Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory..


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