WWW Wednesdays

shouldbereading.wordpress.com asks three questions every week for WWW Wednesdays.  Check out the blog for MizB’s responses.  I think it’s a good, quick way to keep readers updated on what’s going on in my reading world.  Here are my answers:

What are you currently reading? Not much.  After putting down the unfinished Fifty Shades of Grey I’ve lost my reading umph.

What did you recently finish?  The last book I finished was Rick Riordan’s The Throne of Fire…it was a while ago…

What do you think you’ll read next?I need something fast paced and fun…perhaps the last book of Riordan’s Kane Chronicles or the book that follows Kristin Cashore’s Graceling.

Wanna play along?  Send me your answers to these questions or answer them at shouldbereading.wordpress.com

Thrill Ride: The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

courtesy: booksigningcentral.com

Summary courtesy of Goodreads:

Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet – the chaos snake Apophis – is rising. If they don’t prevent him from breaking free in a few days’ time, the world will come to an end. To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. They have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly? [This book is] narrated in two different voices, featuring a large cast of new characters, with adventures spanning the globe.

The Throne of Fire is a thrill ride.  Rick Riordan maintains a tight grip on a plot that provides action on every single page – literally, the book does not slow down!  It is perfect for today’s middle grade, young adult and even old adult readers.

The Kane Chronicles do play upon age-old themes of good versus evil.  Carter and Sadie are naturally the ones that must lead the battle against Apophis and Chaos.  They are not necessarily “the chosen ones”, but they combine two pharaoh blood-lines and are therefore extremely gifted and powerful magicians.  They hosted the gods Horus and Isis in the first installment, The Red Pyramid, making them bad-ass magicians.  Carter’s intellect is balanced by Sadie’s impulsive and let’s say, very honest nature.  They are the perfect pair to take on Egyptian gods and magicians to save the world.

Rick Riordan’s writing is fast-paced.  The adventures are breathtaking and the minor characters range from young magicians to crazy gods.  It is easy to look past the “formulaic” essence of the book.  The infusion of Egyptian mythology and blending of two worlds offers a different and fun twist to the fight between good and evil and the children that must lead this fight.

Amidst this epic battle, Sadie and Carter must deal with the death of their parents and their feelings for others. Sadie has just turned thirteen and has two very serious crushes.  One on an Egyptian god and another on a fellow magician.  Carter claims to be completely in-love with Zia – a character from the first installment, The Red Pyramid, who taught him magic and essentially helped to save the Kanes’ lives.  Carter is fourteen.

As a thirty-something woman I find it hard to believe that a thirteen or fourteen year old can truly fall in-love…isn’t it more like fall infatuation? But, then I recall the intense emotions of adolescence…I think back to the dilemmas my friends and I shared at thirteen and fourteen of age (eons ago)…yup, a girl of thirteen and a boy of fourteen may say that they are in love and completely believe it.

Combine their raging hormones with their intense longing for their parents and Carter and Sadie become all the more endearing. Riordan masterfully combines the angst & issues of adolescence with the fantasy of being Egyptian magicians. No matter how much magic they know, their teenage problems exist and have no magical resolution.  They must lead the battle to save the world while learning to navigate love, relationships, friendships and their own brother/sister bond.

Riordan combines an exceptionally thrilling adventure, knowledge of Egyptian mythology, travel across the globe and two incredible narrators that take the reader through an exhilarating ride.  For young readers, this book will delight and keep them engrossed for hours.  For old readers, it is such a fun break from perhaps the more serious books we read and will take us back to our earlier years of reading…reminding us of all the books that made us readers in the first place.  I can’t wait to finish Carter and Sadie’s story with The Serpent’s Shadow.

Have you read a book that took you back to your young reading self?

WWW Wednesdays

shouldbereading.wordpress.com asks three questions every week for WWW Wednesdays.  Check out the blog for MizB’s responses.  I think it’s a good, quick way to keep readers updated on what’s going on in my reading world.  Here are my answers:

What are you currently reading? The blogs I follow 🙂

What did you recently finish?  I just finished The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan.  Great YA read and will review soon.  It checks off three books from Summer Reading list.

What do you think you’ll read next? I think I’ll continue with Fifty Shades of Grey just because I put it on my summer reading list and I can get my hands on a borrowed copy.

Wanna play along?  Send me your answers to these questions or answer them at shouldbereading.wordpress.com

Summer 2012 Reads

Ah, summer.  Hot.  Hazy.  Lazy.  Lounging under the shade of the trees in my back yard.  Love it.  As spring heats up and foreshadows the seemingly endless summer sunshine, I cannot help but think about what I want to read.

Summer is the time to do it.  I have to squeeze reading in between writing, preparing for the upcoming school year, being enchanted by the world with my three year old, and reconnecting with friends, family and my awesome husband.  It’s doable, right?

My summer 2012 reading list is modest in order to make it (hopefully) achievable:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Goodreads summary: In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again. (image courtesy of journeysanddestinations.wordpress.com)

I love, love, love Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ works.  And cannot wait to dig into this one.  Abandoned love that lasts fifty years, nine months and four days?  I’m in.  This one will work towards the Back to the Classics Challenge 2012.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Goodreads summary:  Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known […].  The novel is Rhys’s answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë’s book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell– Antoinette is Rhys’s imagining of a locked-up woman and Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester’s. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. (image courtesy of livethroughbooks.wordpress.com)

Caribbean heat?  A dark voyage?  Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester?  Sign me up!  This will also knock off another Back to the Classics Challenge 2012 books.

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

 Goodreads summary: Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.  And now their most threatening enemy yet – the chaos snake Apophis – is rising. If they don’t prevent him from breaking free in a few days’ time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it’s a typical week for the Kane family. (image courtesy of rickriordan.blogspot.ca)

I read the first installment of the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, last summer.  It was such a fun, quick paced read…I see many of my students reading the series and other Riordan books.  Of course I’m continuing this series to connect to my students…not because I’m indulging the little girl in me in fantasies of magic and power…no, not at all.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

 from Indigo:  When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young  entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful,  brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is  startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic  reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to  resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits  he wants her, too-but on his own terms.      Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana  hesitates. For all the trappings of success-his multinational  businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family-Grey is a man  tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the  couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana  discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark  desires. (image courtesy of theunexpectedtnt.com)

I have heard very mixed reviews of this best-selling trilogy.  From the very (blush) “holy shit this is like porn!”, to the very (eye-roll) “it’s so badly written, I don’t know why people are buying this.”  I want to see what all the fuss is about.  That’s the only reason I’m reading it…promise…remember I did say I  have an awesome husband (wink)…(blush)…

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Goodreads summary: A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.  Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. (image courtesy of violetcrush.wordpress.com)

I don’t know anything about this book other than I found it in my “recommended” list on goodreads.  The summary sounds intriguing…a lot like a few other books I’ve reviewed, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and Wildflower Hill.  Looking forward to this one.

That’s it.  That’s the list.  A bit sparse I’m sure for those of you who read a book a day (I know you’re out there)…I’m trying to be realistic because there are a billion other things I want to do this summer and if I make this list too long, I won’t do it.  A book every two weeks seems to work for me, for now.  I might finish the trilogies if I like them…promise to keep you posted.

Any feedback on my list?  What will you be reading this summer?