Bookworm Burrow

Book reviews on over 125 different books from several different genres. Use the search or categories to see more.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie November 6, 2009

Peter PanPeter Pan by J.M. Barrie fits into the classical juvenile fiction genre and first appeared as a play in 1904. Later it was published as Peter and Wendy in 1911. It is recommended for readers ages 8 and up.

When I discovered the Disney movie Peter Pan was based on a book I was anxious to read. Typically I read the book first but it was an interesting experience to have it occur the other way. I was amazed while I read how closely the Disney movie stayed to the novel. There were major parts left out and the character of Peter was made to be more likeable but all in all it was much the same. The story begins with a thorough description of the Darling family and how they all came to be and how they acquired Nana, the nursemaid dog. One interesting difference is that Wendy, John, and Michael were not only gone one night but they were gone for quite some time. The books goes into detail how their parents and Nana think over the night they left and planning how they could have done things differently. The night the children left Peter came in and was tempting them to leave. Nana heard and managed to escape and run for the parents. Peter heard them coming and managed to get the children out of the house just before their parents burst into the room to stop them. Their flight to Neverland took days and days to accomplish and at times Peter would even forget they were there. When they got to Neverland everything is much the same as the movie but Wendy had her own cottage to live in outside of the tree where all the boys slept. The same adventures took place with the Indians and Captain Hook and even the capturing of the lost boys and Peter’s rescue. It was an interesting read but for once I think I prefer the movie to the book. Peter’s character in the book is a little too harsh for my taste. He seems moody and flighty but not in the fun carefree way that I’d imagined before. His uncontrollable selfishness also makes him more of a villain than someone to admire. Barrie’s writing at times also leaves something to be desired. He tends to bring himself down saying how this or that detail isn’t really important or that it’s not the best story but he might as well tell it anyway leaving me wondering if this is a draft with notes and not the real thing. I enjoyed finding the origins to one of my favorite children’s movies but I hesitate to recommend it to anyone else unless you have a burning desire to experience it first hand.

 

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Juvenile — Julie @ 4:57 pm

Prince and the PauperThe Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain fits into the classic juvenile fiction genre and was first published in 1882. It is recommended for readers ages 12 and up.

At times I feel as if my literary education is seriously lacking. I not only completed high school but I also graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s in English. Having accomplished that one would figure that I’d read my share of classics but oddly this is not so. I’ve forever felt the need to play catch-up when it comes to the classic genre. I have such a long list and the Prince and the Pauper was one that I excitedly checked off that list as I grabbed it from the shelf and I was not disappointed.

Mark Twain records the story of the Prince and the Pauper with a preface saying that it is an old story that was passed down father to son and while it may not be true it could be true. London in the 1500s brought the birth of Edward Tudor and as it happened on the same day, in a much poorer part of London, Tom Canty. Years later while Tom was wandering around the city he happened upon the palace and Prince Edward. After an incident with the guard Edward invited Tom into the palace and there they discovered how similar they were in both size and appearance. They decided to trade clothes and were both amazed at the transformation and how one could not be distinguished from the other. Forgetting how he was oddly dressed Edward left the room only to be discovered by the previously mentioned guard and he was thrown out onto the street leaving the true Prince homeless and Tom Canty in his place. Thus begins the meat of the story. We read about Edward’s adventures and how he manages to find Tom’s family and only his mother notices the difference after a strange test. Edward struggles through life as a pauper and learns a lot about his kingdom and the people he is one day to rule. With the help of a loyal protector he manages to escape Tom’s unruly father and formulate a plan to retake his kingdom. Meanwhile Tom is learning what it means to be a Prince. He quickly tires of all the pomp and ceremony. In spite of his efforts to try and correct the mistake and find the true Prince no one believes him and many are convinced he has gone mad and spend their time trying to correct his lapse in memory and manners. It is upon the death of the King and the coronation ceremony that the truth comes out and things are restored as they should be however, both boys are profoundly changed from the experience and become better in their own sphere. The Prince and the Pauper makes the reader think and question the values and ways of society. Even though it was written over one hundred years ago it is still amazingly applicable today making people think about how a simple accident of birth created two strikingly different people but being subtly switched they are much the same.

 

3 Willows the sisterhood grows by Ann Brashares

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Juvenile — Julie @ 4:54 pm

3_Williows3 Willows the sisterhood grows by Ann Brashares fits into the juvenile fiction genre and was published in 2009. It is recommended for readers ages 12 and up.

3 Willows is a companion novel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants where the pants girls are something akin to an urban legend and have long since moved on with their lives. 3 Willows follows the summers of three girls in their early teens. Polly, Jo, and Ama. Polly had always been a bit of an outsider and marched to the beat of her own drummer. Through some crazy whim she decides that she wants to be a model and somehow convinces her artist mother to let her go to a summer modeling camp. Jo spends her summer at her family’s beach house with her mom. Her parents are having a “trial separation” basically making official what they’d been doing since her brother’s death. To keep her mind off of it Jo gets a job as a bus girl at a local restaurant and surprises herself with her newfound popularity and a fun summer with an unexpected boy. Ama signed up for a summer academic camp to further her studies and add to her future college applications. In a random twist of fate and paperwork she ends up in Wyoming at an outdoor camp the only black girl in the bunch she is convinced they did it to make the camp look more diverse. While struggling with the outdoor and having her mind set on having a bad summer Ama surprises herself by actually learning something and enjoying herself in the end, although it took getting lost and a call home to make up her mind. Meanwhile Jo comes to grips with her parent’s separation and learns, through a series of frustrating experiences, who her true friends are and what they’d do for her. Polly discovers the sad truth about her mother and that she is not model material, which is a good thing. Together they find new ways to be happy and set reachable goals. 3 Willows is a great book that teaches about how to find true happiness and what really matters in life. Brashares manages to address big topics while maintaining a fun reading experience making this a great book for any girl.

Other reviews available:

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

 

Love and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Juvenile,Romance — Julie @ 4:49 pm

Love and PeachesLove and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson fits into the juvenile fiction genre and was published in 2008. It is recommended for readers ages 16 and up.

Love and Peaches is the fun and fitting conclusion to the Peaches books. We follow Murphy, Leeda, and Birdie though one last summer that brings their lives more heartache and changes than any of them thought possible. At the beginning of the summer none of the girls are home in Georgia. Leeda and Murphy are off to college in New York City and Birdie is in Mexico City with her boyfriend Enrico as an exchange student. While they were supposed to be doing a casual study date Birdie found an engagement ring in Enrico’s backpack and was shocked when he proposed but she said yes, but she soon learned that she wasn’t ready to be engaged and in a moment of recklessness wrote a letter to Enrico and hopped on an airplane back to Georgia. Leeda and Murphy have already arrived and while Leeda deals with the death, funeral, and will reading of her late Grandmother Murphy decides to go visit Rex, her ex-boyfriend. As it turns out Leeda landed a large inheritance with an even larger responsibility. Murphy discovers how big a mistake she made leaving Rex and also the truth about her paternity, which by the way I suspected all along. Through many adventures, some expected and some unexpected the three girls learn a lot about themselves and about each other. They grow to be wonderful individuals going in directions that they didn’t think were possible. It was a well-written book full of interesting conflicts and really believable characters that can inspire young girls while keeping them thoroughly entertained.

 

Other reviews available:

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

The Secrets of Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 

She Went all the Way by Meg Cabot September 4, 2009

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Mystery,Romance — Julie @ 12:28 pm

She Went All the Way

She Went All The Way by Meg Cabot fits into the romance fiction genre and was published in 2002. It is recommended for adult readers.

When I first picked up this book I wondered what the title was hinting at and why the random shoe and clouds on the front. After reading it I think the title is referring to her sex life and the meaning of the shoe and clouds still escapes me. The she in the title refers to Lou Calabrese a screenwriter who made it big writing the movie Hindenburg for her struggling actor live-in boyfriend Barry, also known as Bruno di Blase. The only problem is that Bruno falls in love with his costar Greta Woolston and runs off and marries her leaving Lou bitter and alone to contemplate what went wrong. Greta, in the process of marrying Bruno, also left a boyfriend, actor Jack Townsend. The most predictable thing next would be to have Lou and Jack pair up, which is exactly what happens. However, the way this happens is quite unpredictable. Jack and Lou are on a helicopter on their way to remote Alaska and the set of a new movie in which Jack is the star and Lou the screenwriter. Unexpectedly the helicopter crashes and Jack and Lou find themselves running for their lives from crazed killers on snowmobiles. While on the run they irritate and frustrate each other and every turn then it randomly turns to lust which they satisfy in a remote cabin that they miraculously happen upon. After a good meal and a romp in the sack the two head on trying to find civilization so they can get help. In the end they find out the identity of their would be killer but not without further risking their lives and falling in love. The idea of this story was interesting and at time executed nicely but I thought it was a tad too predictable and I’ve never been a fan of detailed love scenes. Overall it was a quasi-entertaining read and while interesting not great.

 

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Romance — Julie @ 11:56 am

Queen of Babble in the Big City

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot fits into the romance fiction genre and was published in 2007. It is recommended for readers ages 16 and up.

I enjoyed Queen of Babble in the Big City a lot more than the first book (Queen of Babble). For one thing it didn’t have detailed love scenes, thus the reduced age recommendation. For another the problems were more interesting to me. There was also the fun added bonus of “Lizzie Nichols’s Wedding Gown Gide” at the beginning of each chapter. These fun little segments gave advice about which shape and style of wedding gown to pick, how to choose a veil, and how to do your hair and makeup. The actual story puts Lizzie in New York city shortly after the last book ended. She decides to live with Luke instead of her friend Shari and with the help of Chaz, her old friend and Shari’s boyfriend, she manages to land a good job as a receptionist at a law firm. This paying job lets her afford to work for free at a wedding gown shop. This job gives her the experience she wants in her dream career. Through her job as a receptionist she meets Jill Higgins who is marrying into a high class family and is stressed about her upcoming wedding, especially the dress. Lizzie offers her assistance which gains Lizzie and her gown shop fame and notice in the city. However, it’s not all goodness and glory for Lizzie. After months of living with Luke she grows to expect a proposal and when she brings up marriage Luke freaks out and she finds herself homeless. Then the law firm she is working at discovers how she met Jill Higgins and fires her for breaking their privacy policy. It is through good luck and an amazing amount of courage that Lizzie is not only able to solve her problems but even improves her life beyond her dreams. Overall it’s a great book with an interesting plot that kept me reading happily.

Other Reviews Available:

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

 

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Romance — Julie @ 11:17 am

Queen of Babble

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot fits into the romance fiction genre and was published in 2006. It is recommended for Adult readers.

As might be expected Queen of Babble follows the story of Lizzie, a young woman who can’t manage to keep her mouth shut. This inability leads her into a great deal of trouble. As her story begins we find her getting on the plane in London on a trip to see her boyfriend Andrew that she hasn’t seen in three months. The only problem is that she can’t remember his face. We follow her thought process, a truly random yet entertaining trail, as she encounters him and is shocked by his choice of outerwear. We then follow their time together and are shocked, along with Lizzie, at who Andrew really is and the things he asks her to do for him. When she learns he is stealing money from the government in order to pay for a better lifestyle she leaves him and hops on a train to meet her friend Shari who is working for the summer in France. On the train she meets Luke, a nice handsome boy who kindly lets her babble away about all her problems even though Lizzie tends toward over sharing. Lizzie feels comforted until she discovers that he is the son of the owner of the Chateau where she is meeting her friend. This mortifies her and it’s where the story really gets interesting. Lizzie’s trying to make up for running her mouth but only ends up running it more and getting into all kinds of trouble. Through luck, persistence, and amazing skill with fabric she manages to solve her problems, save a wedding, repair a once broken marriage, and find love for herself all while entertaining the reader with her amusing yet erratic thoughts. While I did enjoy this book quite a bit there were a few parts that made me uncomfortable and prompted the recommendation for adult readers. Cabot goes into quite a bit of detail when Lizzie and her boyfriend then later Luke have sex. I don’t think it adds anything to the book having it in so much detail. I think the problem is genuine, especially for someone of her age group, but I think we could have used less. Otherwise it was a great read and if things like that don’t bother you then pick it up and enjoy!

Other Reviews Available:

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot