Monday, April 25, 2011

Still Reading...

Yeah, even I have those days.

Well, it looks like my April reading list may carry over into May. Auralia is taking much longer to read than I had expected. I am not discouraged though and I hope to have another review ready by this evening or tomorrow morning.

On the positive side, I have already filled out my reading list for May and it did not even take a trip to the library. Someone sent me some "light reading" - that is a whopping 765 pages! And with no illustrations even!

While I work on reading that one I will either do reviews of books I read in the past few months that are still fresh on the mind, or I will invite a guest blogger to submit a review, so that no one gets bored. Keep a look out and you might even see other interesting and creative stuff show up...

Okay, back to my book. See you later!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dreaming Anastasia

Dreaming Anastasia: A Novel of Love, Magic, and the Power of Dreams
by Joy Preble
ISBN: 1-4022-1817-6 / 978-1-4022-1817-0
310 Pages

Anne has dreams that she is another person, in another place, in another time. The dreams are not only real - they are also terrifying. She tries to ignore them, but then even more unusual things begin to happen to her. A handsome stranger, a boy who appears to be Anne's age, approaches her and offers to explain everything. He claims that Anne is the person he has been seeking for a long time, and that only she can help him to rescue the Grand Duchess Anastasia from the clutches of the evil witch Baba Yaga.

My Thoughts:
Being a fan of Anastasia lore, I had high hopes for this book. Fortunately, it did not let me down. The writing is somewhat simplistic - which is suitable for a young adult book, but at the same time, the content is high in detail and vivid imagery. Dreaming Anastasia is well developed and creative. It covers the same topics as many books that have come before it, but from a new angle. the story is dark and has many sad moments, but it has humorous points as well.  

I did have a few qualms with Dreaming Anastasia. The biggest one was this: I do not care for books written in the present tense. The wording is often awkward and errors can happen easily. There were one or two points where in my head I just went "ugh" over how something was phrased. Despite this, I still could not stop reading.

I also found the focus on sex a little disturbing for a young adult targeted book. The fact that it was discussed so casually - and frequently - was, to me, not age appropriate. But I suppose times are changing, and I am a little behind. The fact that Tess outwardly expressed her guilt over doing what she had done and was trying to keep her friend from making the same mistakes was a redeeming factor - at least it was not glorifying the act at a young age. 

There are several grammatical errors - mostly with spelling, but nothing that takes away from the enjoyability of the story as a whole. The ideas and concepts were still valid, and have the potential to make readers want to learn more about the subjects covered. For a first novel, Joy Preble did a great job. With a little more editing and polish, it could have been perfect.

Once I started reading, I did not want to put it down until I was finished. To me, this is the sign of a good book. From start to finish, the book took about 5 hours to read. I did not complete it all in one sitting, though I would have if I could.

Overall, Dreaming Anastasia is an excellent read.

Parent's Guide:
By dialogue and situations, you can tell that Dreaming Anastasia is targeted at the high school crowd. Would you would want your 14 year old daughter reading it? I would have to say it is a parent's call on this one. As I previously mentioned, this book talks frequently about sex. So, if you feel comfortable with your child's level of maturity and understanding of these concepts, then by all means let them read it. But if you do not - proceed with caution.

The Oz Counter: 3! Did you spot them? (The Oz Counter is explained in the "Anatomy of a PBG Review" link at the top of the page.)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Win a gift card to Half Price Books!

Hello readers! I came across this and I wanted to share.

Lori, over at At The Fence, is offering a $10 gift card to Half Price Books. If there is not one in your area, they are online as well. Check it out. At HPB, $10 can go a long way!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Reading Selections - Let's Discuss!

A new blog is a perfect opportunity for a new start, so I decided that I wanted to start with some fresh reads. After a quick trip to the local library, I have decided on my reading list for April.

Dreaming Anastasia by  Joy Preble
Auralia's Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
The Goddess is in the Details by Deborah Blake
Magyk by Angie Sage
The Light Inside the Dark by John Tarrant
I am excited to start reading. Reviews will be posted over the next month. so remember to check back. And, as previously stated, I am always open to discussion, so I invite you to grab a book and read along!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Welcome to my book review blog!

'Who is this PaperbackGoddess?' you may be wondering. I am just a normal, stay-at-home mother of two. I enjoy sewing and crafting. I am a big fan of anime and Japanese culture. I help organize cosplay and costuming events, and love planning events in general. Another type of event I work with often is weddings. I am an ordained Priestess and I officiate at weddings all through the year. There is no greater feeling than being able to unite two people who are deeply in love.

In what spare time I have, I read. I love reading! Reading a book gives you a chance to immerse yourself in a different world. To, if just for a moment, forget any troubles you may have. There are boxes and stacks of book all over my house because I simply do not have enough shelves. I frequently participate in book swaps and have a wish list a mile long.

My favorite genres of books to read are historical fiction and fantasy, but I read all kinds of things - from mysteries and romances to new age and metaphysics books.

I will be doing reviews on many different types of books. So, if you have been looking for a new read, hopefully I can suggest something that suits your tastes. And I promise I will do my best to avoid spoilers!

I and am excited for the opportunity to share my literary experiences with others. I am also eager to hear other people's opinions and to have some great discussions. Come by anytime!