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July 2011 Wrap Up

Okay, so this post is long overdue. xD Practically half a month overdue. But with a week’s vacation and a load of summer reading to get finished before school starts next month (!!), I’ve been freaking out much more than is necessary. Thankfully, things have calmed. In time for me to tell you what I read last month:

Losing Faith-Denise Jaden
Cryer’s Cross-Lisa McMann
Peter and the Shadow Thieves-Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Spell Book of Listen Taylor-Jaclyn Moriarty
Shine-Lauren Myracle
Storm Thief-Chris Wooding
Song of the Sparrow-Lisa Ann Sandell
Delirium-Lauren Oliver
Peter Pan-J.M. Barrie
Fractured: Happily Never After?-Joanna Karaplis
Past Midnight-Purnhagen
A Nail Through the Heart-Timothy Hallinan

Books I purchased: 3
Won in Contest: 1
Borrowed from friend: 0
Checked out from library: 6
Review books: 2
Pages read:4086

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 1/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 9/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 9/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

I read 12 books in July, and out of all of them, I’ve got to say that there were plenty of new favorites for me here. From old classics like Peter Pan to a brand new series starter like Delirium, this month had loads of books that I’ll be returning to again and again.

How was your July?

5 stars · action · classic · Fantasy · fiction · series · young adult

Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

 
Peter and the Shadow Thieves

Authors: Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers #2
Book 1: Peter and the Starcatchers
Book 3: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

Pages [hardcover]: 576

Memorable Quote: The boys had asked why, if it acted slowly, was it called quicksand. The Mollusks had replied that, as far as they were concerned, most English names for things were silly. The word that they used for quicksand was a deep grunt that translated roughly to “uh-oh”.

Favorite Characters: Peter & Tink

Summary:

The sequel to Peter and the Starcatchers grabs you by the collar and pins you against a wall. In this exciting novel, Peter abandons the calm of Mollusk Island to pursue a dangerous mission in the dark, distant streets of London. With Tinker Bell as his companion, Peter searches through the unfriendly great city even as the slithering man/beast called Lord Ombra hovers nearby, plotting to unleash his dreaded powers.

Review:

I really loved the first book in this series, Peter and the Starcatchers, as well as the classic it is based on, Peter Pan. This sequel was not a disappointment, continuing the magical fun with Peter hiding on a ship bound for England, determined to save Molly from a horrible fate, a jealous pixie-excuse me, bird-girl-named Tink, and a band of orphaned boys who loyally follow Peter, but are steadily growing older, as he remains young.

This book wasn’t as fast paced as the first, or as gripping, though it didn’t lack for that. It was sort of expected, and not entirely worrisome. I loved reading about Peter, who is an awesome character in these books, trying to figure out his relationship with Molly, the boys, and himself. He knows he can never live like a normal person, but that doesn’t keep him from wanting to.

The evil characters keep getting better and better. Lord Ombra was the epitome of creepy, slinking around and making me cringe every time he came near someone else. Even though he was awesome, I would not want to run into that guy. A familiar foe returns in Shadow Thieves and plots against the flying boy and his friends.

There was never a dull moment, never a time when I questioned why on earth I was reading this book. I’m just thankful it was labeled as young adult in my library, as I wasn’t sure if it would slip away into the children’s shelves. There are several things that bring the level up-deaths and things like that-but I think that anyone could really enjoy it, if they love a good, adventurous fairy tale, and have the mind of a child in their hearts.

I give Peter and the Shadow Thieves 5/5 stars. I’ve already rented the 3rd installment from the library-that’s how excited I was to continue this series. I can’t wait to see what these authors come up with next!

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction · series · young adult

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers

Authors: Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers #1
Book 2: Peter and the Shadow Thieves
Book 3: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon

Pages: 451

Memorable Quote: Black Stache had no love for the Queen, no love for women of any sort, except for his ma. He had a real soft spot for his ma, and was truly sorry for the time he’d marooned her.


Favorite Characters
: Molly & Peter

Summary:

Don’t even think of starting this book unless you’re sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

Review:

I was wary of starting this, because Peter Pan has to be my favorite classic fairy tale. I didn’t think this could possibly live up to my expectations and capture the fun and serious tale that I’ve loved. I was wrong.

Peter and the Starcatchers, while giving a completely different take on how Peter got to Neverland, and how the island actually came to be, is refreshingly original, while still maintaining the adventurous feel of the original tale. I liked the different twists added, and was kept constantly on the edge of my seat. Each chapter was short and quick, often switching viewpoint between several characters: Peter, Molly, Black Stache, and many more. I loved each of them equally, because they were all well-defined and loveable-even the villains. The good old Captain definitely held my interest.

This book had me laughing aloud. The humorous quips and sarcastic remarks, as well as the conversations between Smee and Black Stache, had me trying to stifle my laughter. Even in the most serious of scenes, there was still an air of childish mischief, which I adored.

I loved seeing how everything fell into place by the end of the story. It was a bittersweet ending for me, and while it made complete sense, it saddened me. I was still hoping for that happy thing I knew couldn’t possibly be. Still, a girl can dream.

I really want to read the other books in this series, immediately. I can’t wait to get my hands on them. If they’re as good as this one, they may soon be one of my all-time favorite series. If you’re looking for an action-packed, fairy tale-esque, funny, addicting novel, this is the one for you.

I give Peter and the Starcatchers 5/5 stars.