Teen Book Review: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Review by Fallon D., Northwest Branch

Buttercup, one of the most beautiful women in the world, lives on a farm; her joys riding her horse and taunting the farm boy that works there. When an unexpected visit of the count and countess arrive, she realizes she loves the farm boy.  She professes her love, and he goes to America to seek his fortune so they can eventually marry.  Soon, she finds out that he has killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts.  Devastated and not caring about her life anymore, she agrees to marry Prince Humperdink, but the adventure doesn't stop there.

Loving the movie since I saw it  years ago, I wasn't disappointed. The movie was very close to the book, only leaving out minor scenes.  The book was really well written and has humor, though not maybe as much as the movie.The characters were very interesting and likeable, and the storyline was great. If you liked the movie I would definitely recommend this to you, but even if you haven't its a great book.

The Return of… the Sequel!

I read an interesting article about books that are being published lately which are sequels to books published 5, 10, even 20 years ago — quite different from the usual publish-one-book-a-year cycle we see lately.  At least one of these (Unwind!) I have been waiting most anxiously for.

Have you read any of these?  Will a new sequel motivate you to go back and read or re-read the first book?


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Stuck In Neutral  
published 2001


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  Life Happens Next
  published 8/2012


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The Giver  
published 1994



  publishing 10/2012


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Stoner & Spaz  
published 2002  


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  Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz 2
  published 8/2011


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The Face on the Milk Carton  
published 1990



  Janie, Face to Face
  publishing 1/2013


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The Body of Christopher Creed  
published 2000  


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  Following Christopher Creed
  published 9/2012


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published 2007  


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  published 8/2012



Teen Book Review: The Summer Before Boys

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Review by Anna, Sonoma Valley Branch

The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin is an… all right book. It’s about two girls, Eliza and Julia. Eliza’s mom is currently away to be an army nurse, something Eliza struggles with constantly. As a result, Eliza is staying with Julia for the whole summer. But their friendship will be tested once Eliza starts thinking about a local boy, Michael. It’s a tale of growing up and dealing with hard things, a book about an ordinary girl who makes a few mistakes in the summer of 2004.

I didn’t particularly like this book. I’ve always held the belief that if you’re going to spend your free time reading a book, that book should transport you to somewhere exciting and adventurous. In The Summer Before Boys you read about Eliza’s not very exciting life, and her minuscule dilemmas that are huge to her. However, it did get more interesting about halfway through the book, but even so, it did not make it into my favorites. I would recommend this book to kids with parents or loved ones in the army, because I think this novel would be good for learning how to deal with that.

Teen Book Review

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Review by Fallon, Northwest Branch

When 18-year-old Sophie's father dies, she stays at the family hat shop while her sisters move out of the house to seek their fortunes.  Convinced that she is going to go nowhere in life from being the eldest, Sophie is soon bored.  But when the infamous Witch of the Waste comes in to buy a hat and feels dissatisfied, she turns Sophie into an old lady.  Now Sophie must enter the dreaded Wizard Howl's Castle, who is known to eat the hearts of beautiful girls.

Why I Picked it up: I loved the movie of the same name directed by Hayao Miyazaki. When I found out it was a book, I had to read it!  Although it is much different from the book, I also recommend the movie.

Why I finished it:  The storyline was varied a lot from the book, but was still very intriguing and had interesting characters, although I still do not understand Howl.  But be warned that the author does a lot of foreshadowing and to pay attention to minor details.
I'd recommend it to: People who like fantasy, but it is not a typical fantasy.  It is funny in the dry British sort of way, if you know what I mean.  However, if you don't like English authors I would not recommend it to you.