Monday, June 21, 2010

Playlist?

Hi all, I just want to explain about a tiny addition that I will have to my reviews. And it's the Playlist.

So it's basically a list of songs I know that relates to the books I've read. I thought it would be fun to do that, and it collaborates my passion for music and books.

xoxo,

Maya

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

Here's another review! I thought I'd like to kick off the Summer with a light and pleasant read. So I thought, Scones and Sensibility would do the trick!

Synopsis

Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.

But alas, she was not.

This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

When I read the synopsis on the back, I was really intrigued by the book. I opened it and I jumped right into it. It's such an adorable book and the main character is the ever-so-charming Polly Madassa. She and her family own the Madassa bakery, and she has an older sister named Clementine. Polly is so special in her own way. She's this twelve year old girl who seems to come out from those classic books. Her favorite ones are Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. It's like she's living in the wrong time. But again, that's what makes her so special. I also have a soft spot for classic writing and how beautiful and lush when people speak back then. She calls her parents Mama and Papa and her outfits are usually those old fashioned frocks and dresses. I love the term affection of "bosom friend" that she has for her friend, Fran.

I could relate to some of her aspects, especially the daydreaming part. Sometimes I just love sitting still, outside with the sun dancing on my face, and just think. In other words, daydreaming! Haha. Okay, well, one summer she was told by her parents that she was to be set with a duty of delivering pastries in her town. She was very happy with that and she loves socializing. One thing you should know about Polly is that she believes in love, but her idea of love and finding it is through her novels. So then she comes up with this idea of bringing love to the people that means so much to her in town, through delivering these fantastic pastries!

Polly's antics into finding love for her friends were very charming at first, but then she finds out that things doesn't always go the way that it does in novels. Her heart is in the right place and she means well for everyone. But then she realizes that you can't force love. That was basically the main challenge for Polly in the book, but Polly was willing to learn from her mistakes. So it's not all tears.

There were a lot of characters in this book, but I didn't mind that at all. Lindsay Eland's writing for this book was very charming and understandable. Scones and Sensibility is a wonderful book that I can read in a cafe, by the beach or the poolside. Along with a refreshing drink and a tasty sweet snack. There were some parts of the book which felt a little bit slow for me, but I kept my faith in the book and in the end, I really enjoyed it. From Polly's story I learnt the same thing she did, you can't force love, on anyone or on yourself.

xoxo,

Maya.

Grade: B-

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Hi all, I'm sorry for being AWOL for the past couple of weeks. I was so caught up in the chronicles that is life, so caught up that I had to abandon this blog for a while. But now I'm back I've got some reviews! And do you notice the new layout? Thank you Blogger!

Anyways, I was so happy when I got this book, the second installment of Aprilynne Pike's faerie world, Spells. I read this in just a couple of days, so here's my review.
Synopsis:

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

This is the sequel to Wings and it's about a year after Laurel learns that she is a faerie and the events occurring onwards. In this book it was really about Lauren being sort of torn between two of her worlds. She accepts who she is as a faerie but this also causes a few problems. She is set to Avalon which is the faerie realm for one whole summer. Since she's a Fall Faerie, she has to learn the skills and the ways of being one. The first part of the book was mostly her being in Avalon, I was really happy to finally get the chance to read all about it. It was very interesting to read abut this whole faerie caste system in Avalon and the people from her past. I also got to read about the differences between the Summer, Winter and Spring Faeries and they magical powers. Avalon seems like a really beautiful place from the book, but Laurel isn't exactly there to bask in the beauty of Avalon most of the time. She has to come forth to learning and improving her faerie skills. She spends a lot of time reading about faerie craft. I love that Aprilynne didn't go straight into the whole typical situation where once Laurel finds out she's a faerie, she is already fully equipped with faerie powers. Boom- just like that. But no, she actually has to control and make use of her faerie powers.

In Avalon, of course she spends some of her time with Tamani. In the previous book, there was obviously an undeniable connection between Laurel and Tamani. By spending some time with Tamani, their relationship and their feelings begin to develop. This of course resulted in conflicted feelings within Laurel, because, well she is already in a committed relationship with her boyfriend, David. I also got to see their relationship in the book go even deeper and I think I found myself rooting for him. Hmm.

So, after Avalon, she has to come back home. And once she's home, she has to cope with different challenges. Now that she's a faerie, and both her parents knows it, she has to cope with their feelings about her new faerie ancestry. And in the previous book, there was the threat of the trolls to Laurel's life. And in this book, the problems doesn't end, and what with Laurel's conflicted feelings, she has to deal with a lot of things in this book. For me personally I think that the synopsis above might be a little bit ambiguous. When I first read it, I was thinking "Oh, okay. More romance. I understand". But when I read the book, it's not wholly about the whole love triangle drama. It was also about Laurel discovering more of herself, coming in to her own. Once again, what I like about Aprilynne, she doesn't take the typical approach with Laurel, the heroine of this story.

Laurel is not a character who is very dramatic, with an in-your-face disposition to her, who obsesses over boys all the time. She's a quiet heroine, with her own strength, and she's also a little bit vulnerable. Her relationships with Tamani and David is obviously an essence to the story but she also has her responsibilities in the human world and in the faerie world. She still has the love of her friends and family, that is also important to her. She makes her fair share of mistakes, and she is not the character that has to always be saved by someone. She even puts her life in line to rescue someone she loves. Laurel was a really tough cookie in this book, but with her vulnerability she still has her share of mistakes and faults. Between Tamani and David, she still manages to keep composure and stand on her ground. Even when she has to make that one decision.

In Spells, you really got to know more of the characters in Wings. Not only that but more knowledge of the faerie world, the culture and the responsibilities that the faerie has, especially in Avalon. I also loved the friendship between Laurel's friend Chelsea and there are even some fresh faces in the story. Aprilynne's writing is very pleasant and I can't wait to read the third book and see how Laurel develops. You rock!

xoxo,

Maya.

Grade: A-

Playlist:

1) High- James Blunt
2) No One- Aly & AJ
3) No Surprise- Daughtry
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