Speak

I am resurrecting the old book review arm of this blog as of right now. I’ve purchased a lot of books online lately, and gotten a few more from the library. I’ve been getting a lot of the books that I read as a kid, or wish that I would have. In the second category is Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book I really wish would have been around when I first started high school.

Title: Speak
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Published: 1999
ISBN: 014131088X

My Rating: 10 / 10. Perfect. Five Stars.

This book is, as of two days ago, one of my favorite novels of all time. I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone I know (and everyone I don’t, such as the majority of the people who this read this blog). Although I don’t know if it’s international appeal would be the same, anyone who is, or ever was, a student at an American high school should appreciate this story. More later…

Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold!

Title: Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold!
Author: Terry Brooks
Genre: Fantasy Novel
Length: 324 pages
Published: 1986

My Rating: 3.5 / 5

Summary: Chicago lawyer Ben Holiday finds an ad in a specialty catalog listing a magic kingdom for sale. Price: $1,000,000. Fed up with the real world anyway, Holiday decides to purchase the kingdom, thereby assuming the position of its king. Things get complicated, however, when he finds out that the magic kingdom of Landover—a real magical world complete with knights, wizards, and fairies—has its share of problems, bringing (now Hight Lord) Holiday face to face with dragons, witches, and an army of demons in his attempt to gain the pledges of the population and convince them that he can provide the leadership and protection that they need.

My Review: This is a fun book, with a different and largely original take on the “normal person suddenly finds himself in the fantasy world” premise that forms the basis of so many fantasy novels now and historically.

What I liked: The book moves fast enough to keep you interested, but not so fast that you get lost and can’t understand what is going on. It was a fun book, a not altogether serious one; good for to relax and get out of the real world a little bit yourself.

What I didn’t: There’s a lot of profanity in this book. Nothing strong, but enough of it to make me mildly annoyed. I absolutely hate the little tree fairy girl Willow; if I were in Landover, the first thing I would do would be to send her head first into the fairy world.

Rating: Three and a half out of five. Good enough to read, but not so good that you’ll need to rush out and buy it or recommend that all your friends read it. It’s also the first book of a four or five book (and not necessarily finished yet) series, and it wasn’t so good as to convince me to read the rest of them (at least not right now). It probably lost an entire point because of the character Willow, whom I detest, and whom I am told marries the main character further along in the series (which may be why I won’t be reading the rest of the series any time soon).

Note: This is the first of my “Book Reviews” section, so I’m still working the bugs out of the system. Let me know what you think of it (add a comment to this post if you have something to add).