Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 10 Childhood Favorites: #10-8

I know, I know.... normally I only post my reviews and thoughts on the books I have recently finished. But I thought it'd be a good bit of fun to do some reflecting for a book report instead. I began thinking about the books that actually fostered a love of reading within me. There were books that I clearly remember reading 800 times or so just because I loved them that much. Now I will not sit here and pretend that my favorite books from my childhood were some of the "great children's books of all time," but to me they were. They are books I will pass down to my children someday to read. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my trip down literary memory lane!

10. R.L. Stine - Broken Hearts

I was the world's biggest R.L. Stine fan! The Fear Street series always promised me an entertaining read. This particular "Super Chiller" was one I remember rereading every February for years! Josie and Melissa start to get threatening Valentines in their lockers at Shadyside High School. Next, girls start turning up dead. Who is murdering the beautiful girls at Shadyside..? You'll have to read this classic high school murderer on the loose tale to find out! (which will probably take the average adult about two hours)


9. James Howe - Bunnicula

My first vampire book... *wistful sigh*. Harold and Chester are a dog and cat team living with a loving family. One day, the family goes to the movies and brings back with them a bunny. The family thinks it's hilarious that they found a bunny in a cage left at the movie theatre and appropriately give him a name that combines his species (bunny) and the movie they were watching (Dracula). Thus Bunnicula he is named. But there's something off about this bunny. He's a bit peculiar, and Chester and Harold vow to get to the bottom of it before something bad happens to their beloved owners! Seriously, this book is so much fun.

8. T.S. Rue - The Pool

I think I am 1 of 17 people who have actually read this book. I think my Oma picked it up for me at one the garage sales that she used to go to every Thursday during the summer. I devoured the book and still have it on my bookshelf. Kelly lands the job of her dreams (being a lifeguard at a hotel). But slowly, more and more poolside accidents befall guests and the lifeguards themselves. It starts to seem like someone - or something - is after them all. Yes, this book is as good as it's B-Movie looking cover. If you loved the Fear Street books as a kid, read it.


It would appear that in my attempt to upload a bunch of book covers that I have angered the BlogSpot gods. So for now, consider this installment #1 of my Top 10 Childhood Favorites. Stay tuned for the next three favorites (or however many I'm allowed to upload) in the next installment!

Maria V. Snyder - Poison Study


This is the story of Yelena. We meet her in her prison cell, where she is being punished for murdering her foster father's blood son. The punishment in Ixia for murder is death, no questions asked. Unless the Commander's food taster dies (which is an inevitability as their job requires them to taste the Commander's food for poison)... If that taster dies, the job offer must be presented to the next in line for execution. And guess who the next person to die is.... That's right, my friends! Yelena.
While Yelena is a somewhat weak excuse for a heroine (in my humble opinion), you still cheer for her. You want her to learn all of the poisons that the Commander's right hand man teaches her. You want her to stand up for herself. And more than anything else, you want her to fall in love with the absolutely delicious Valek (the aforementioned Commander's right hand). More than anything else, when things start going haywire at the castle, you really, really want Yelena (with Valek's help) to overcome the threat presented by her former foster father when he shows up demanding vengeance for his son's murder.
The best part? Valek. No question. He is a perfect candidate for a book crush. He's handsome, serious, artistic, smart.... and an assassin. I mean, COME ON. He's even funny! "It's a dirty way to fight, but I'm late for lunch." Valek is easily the most quotable. He sort of makes other common book crushes look like wimpy, brooding little boys (sorry, Edward Cullen). He is worth reading the book for alone.
This novel is classified as fantasy because of the magic and the poisons. I get it, but I would venture to put this book into a category called Fantasy Lite. It does not slap you across the face with Tolkien-esque fantasy qualities. It's the chick lit version of fantasy - and I loved it. I read this book in one day (granted I was travelling from Chicago back to Ohio, so I had some time). My only regret about reading it so quickly is that I did not have copies of the two sequels to continue Yelena's journey.