Netgalley Review: A Literary Tea Party

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A Literary Tea Party

Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere

by Alison Walsh

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Netgalley Review: I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo!

Pick up a glass of milk, curl up with your security blanket, and enjoy the timeless brilliance of Peanuts in this new collection of comic strips!

Everyone’s favorite classic characters are back: Peppermint Patty enrolls in a private school to end her academic troubles—only to discover she’s just graduated from obedience school. Linus finds himself entangled in a love triangle (and stuck on top of a snow-covered roof). And Charlie Brown runs away from the law and becomes a vagrant baseball coach.

The Peanuts crew is lovable, popular, and charming, but please whatever you do, don’t call Linus “My Sweet Babboo!”


4 Stars

This was a cute collection. My sister LOVES Peanuts (has apps, books and all the old movies, as well as the new one) so I’ve heard and seen more Peanuts than you’d think. I like The Peanuts, but too much starts grating on my nerves (I think its a sister thing, if she likes it, it automatically begins harder for me to like it).

I thought this was a cute collection though. Well illustrated and it flowed well. I read it all at once and skimmed through it a little, but thought it was enjoyable.

Netgalley Review: Music in Disney’s Animated Features

In Music in Disney’s Animated Features James Bohn investigates how music functions in Disney animated films and identifies several vanguard techniques used in them. In addition he also presents a history of music in Disney animated films, as well as biographical information on several of the Walt Disney Studios’ seminal composers.

The popularity and critical acclaim of Disney animated features truly is built as much on music as it is on animation. Beginning with Steamboat Willie and continuing through all of the animated features created under Disney’s personal supervision, music was the organizing element of Disney’s animation. Songs establish character, aid in narrative, and fashion the backbone of the Studios’ movies from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through The Jungle Book and beyond.

Bohn underscores these points while presenting a detailed history of music in Disney’s animated films. The book includes research done at the Walt Disney Archives as well as materials gathered from numerous other facilities. In his research of the Studios’ notable composers, Bohn includes perspectives from family members, thus lending a personal dimension to his presentation of the magical Studios’ musical history. The volume’s numerous musical examples demonstrate techniques used throughout the Studios’ animated classics.


4 Stars

This book goes in depth not only on the famous Disney movie songs, but the scores and character themes, from the earliest Disney cartoons and shorts (Steamboat Willie, Mickey cartoons, Silly Symphonies) through the earlier Disney movies (through The Jungle Book). It goes in depth on the composition, and how the scores made the movies whole and affected their acclaim, as well as all the composers who played a part. With bits of sheet music in-between to help illustrate which parts there were talking about.

I thought this was really well put together and super interesting, though I’ll admit I skimmed it more than read, but thats because I have a less than limited understanding of sheet music/composition and its so detailed that I didn’t care as much to read it fully – nothing against the book thats just me.

Its great for Disney and music fans.

Netgalley Review: the witch doesn’t burn in this one

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the witch doesn’t burn in this one

by Amanda Lovelace; ladybookmad

Netgalley Review: Little Moments of Love

Little Moments of Love

by Catana Chetwynd

Little Moments of Love is a sweet collection of comics about the simple, precious, silly, everyday moments that make up a relationship.

What began as stray doodles on scraps of paper became an internet sensation when Catana Chetwynd’s boyfriend shared her drawings online. Now, Catana Comics touches millions of readers with its sweet, relatable humor. Little Moments of Love collects just that – the little moments that are the best parts of being with the person you love.


I received an e-arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


5 Stars

I seen some of these comics before online – mostly on Buzzfeed. This book was a collection, almost all of which I’ve never seen before. The art style is super cute, and I really enjoy it, and the subject is really cute too – little relationship moments. Its a cute, fast read, and great if you like this sort of thing.

Book Review: STAGS

S.T.A.G.S.

Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She’s immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other “outsiders” have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other “losers” were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.


I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.


3.5 stars

I enjoyed this book. It reminds me of A Dangerous Game and stuff like that. I liked the characters, and the MC was pretty intelligent. Its different from a lot of thriller and private school stories, though the pacing was a little slow, I overall enjoyed it. The cover is SUPER nice, especially in person.  If it sounds like something you’d like, you probably will.

Book Review: Not If I Save You First

Not If I Save You First

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

No phone.
No Internet.
And not a single word from Logan.

Maddie tells herself it’s okay. After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full.
Until Logan shows up six years later . . .
And Maddie wants to kill him.

But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.

Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.
But she has to save him first.

Hardcover, 297 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Scholastic Press

4.5 Stars

 I’m a huge fan of Ally Carter, have been since elementary school when I started reading the Gallagher Girl books. So I was super excited for this book.
Overall, I thought it was great. I LOVED the characters, the voices and personalities and character arcs. I liked the general plot. I loved how you could tell she did her research, she knew what she was talking about, it really does show, and it makes everything more real.
I will say it got knocked down a little by how flimsy some motivations are. Logan not responding to her letters? Flimsy excuse, and we don’t even hear his side of the story until much later than we really should of; some of the pacing for some reveals came a little later than really fit the high pace, high stakes physical action, veering at times to confusing rather than suspenseful. Maddie wanting to physically kill him is also a little flimsy; did she not have other friends? Could her dad not have let her visit Logan, or anyone else for that matter EVER? Like I said, a little flimsy, thin ice to stand on as a premise, but fun and enjoyable none-the-less.
If you can suspend some disbelief and just accept that sometimes common sense doesn’t exist, its a fun survival and teen romance story. If you like any of Ally Carter’s series (Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, etc.) you’ll probably like this book.
(I also loved that reference to Blackthorne from Gallagher Girls!)

“But Logan had to laugh when he realized that he was the maiden in this scenario. And he didn’t care one bit.”
― Ally Carter, Not If I Save You First

Dear Logan,
I’m sorry that the stupid Russians shot you.
Mainly because I really want to shoot you, and I hate that they beat me to it.
Maddie

― Ally Carter, Not If I Save You First
“Someone had even told him once that if his father hadn’t been president, Logan might have been a good candidate for the Blackthorne Institute (whatever that was – it didn’t even have a website), so it felt weird not knowing where he was or where he was going.”
― Ally Carter, Not If I Save You First

AP Lit Review: Hamlet

Title: Hamlet by William Shakespeare   

Date of Publication: 1603, first performance in 1609                      

Genre: Tragedy


Biographical information about the author (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Shakespeare’s plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

He wrote about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.


Information about the literary period (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Elizabethan literature, body of works written during the reign of Elizabeth I of England (1558–1603), probably the most splendid age in the history of English literature, with writers such as Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, Roger Ascham, Richard Hooker, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare. Elizabethan is merely a chronological reference and does not describe any special characteristic of the writing.


Plot summary:

Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark. He returns home from school for his father’s funeral, and his mother’s marriage to his uncle Claudius, which enrages him. He learns (from the ghost of his father) that Claudius poisoned his father. Hamlet pretends to be insane to lure Claudius into a false sense of security, while he plots revenge. He tests the ghost’s sincerity by staging a lay, in which a man poisons his king brother the same way Claudius poisoned the older Hamlet. He determines the ghost was truthful. Hamlet struggles with killing Claudius, and has a monologue where he considers killing himself. He ends up killing Polonius (stabbing him through a curtain) thinking him to be Claudius. Polonius is the father of the love of his life, Ophelia, who rejected him at her father and brother Laertes behest. Claudius sends Hamlet to England with Rosencratz and Gildenstern, ordering Hamlet’s death. Hamlet intercepts the letter and alters the instructions to killing the other two. Ophelia, distraught over her father’s death, drowns herself, prompting her brother to challenge Hamlet to a duel. Laertes poisoned his sword, but the swords are switched in battle, both Hamlet and Laertes are nicked by the poison tip. Gertrude the Queen) drinks wine poisoned by Claudius intended for Hamlet. Hamlet kills Claudius finally in retaliation for him mother’s death. Everyone dies except Horiatio. The Prince of Norway, Fortinbras comes to claim the kingdom.


Memorable quotations significant to meaning:

1 – “Doubt thou the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move;

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.”

 

  1. “To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;

 

  1. “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

 

4- “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

 

  1. “Conscience doth make cowards of us all.”

Significance of opening scene:

The opening scene shows guards witnessing the ghost of Hamlet the King, showing that Prince Hamlet is not the only one who sees the specter, lending to the credibility that his madness was pretend as he claimed.


Significance of closing scene:

The closing scene has virtually every named character not already decreased die, including Laertes, Hamlet, Gertrude, and Claudius. Horatio lives to tell their story, and Fortinbras claims Denmark for Norway.


Characters

        Name       Role in the story and significance       Adjectives

  1.  Hamlet – The prince of denmark. Protagonist. Depressed, pretending to be mad, may actually be mad. Plots revenge against Claudius, but slowly and deliberately. In love with Ophelia.
  2. Claudius – Hamlet’s uncle and stepfather. Killed King Hamlet, married Gertrude. Plots to kill Hamlet the prince as well.
  3. Ophelia – Hamlet’s love. Daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes. Listens to her family’s warnings and rejects Hamlet. Drowns herself after her father’s death, prompting Laertes to kill Hamlet.
  4. Laertes – Ophelia’s brother. Spends most of the play in France. Quicker to act than Hamlet, a foil to him. Immediately demands revenge. Is convinced by Claudius to poison his sword in a duel.
  5. Rosencratz and Gildenstern – Two of Hamlet’s best friends from school/childhood. He is excited to see them until they reveal that they only came to visit on Claudius’s orders. When Hamlet intercepts Claudius’s letter to the king of England ordering his death, Hamlet orders the death of Rosencratz and Gildenstern.

Setting: Denmark, early 1600s


Symbols:

Yorick’s Skull – Hamlet’s realizations about death and life; where everyone ends up

Ophelia’s flowers – Representations of the characters she gifts them to.

Poison – leads to many deaths, many accidental

The ghost – Hamlet is concerned if it really is his father or a specter meant to trick him into dooming his immortal soul. Initially the guards can see it, but later, when Hamlet is entrenched in his pretend madness, Gertrude can not.


Themes for discussion:

Revenge – Hamlet is deliberative, while Laertes is brash.

Death and the afterlife – Hamlet is fixated on death, purgatory, and what becomes of a person when they have passed.

Family and invest  – Hamlet insists Claudius and Gertrude’s marriage amounts to incest.

Suicide – which Hamlet contemplates and Ophelia commits

 

Netgalley Review – Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare

Poetry for Kids: William Shakespeare

by William Shakespeare, Marguerite Tassi

Major Works – AP Lit Review: Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Date of Publication: January 1, 1818

Genre:  Gothic science fiction


Biographical information about the author (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Mary Shelly was raised by her father after the death of her mother when she was a month old. Her father was an author himself, which inspired Shelly. She married Percy Shelly, a friend of her father’s after his first wife committed suicide. Their daughter died prematurely. Frankenstein is her most famous work, first written when she was 19.


Information about the literary period (for my knowledge only, but very helpful):

Frankenstein is one of the most famous novels in the Gothic genre, it was written at a time when the Gothic novel was slowly giving way to the literary movement of Romanticism, and the novel shares the Romantic emphasis on the “sublime” power of nature.


 Plot summary:

Robert Walton, on a ship bound for the North Pole, writes letters to his sister back in England. Walton finds Victor Frankenstein, and brings him aboard the ship to bring him back to health. Frankenstein describes the circumstances that brought him to the ice and near death. Victor describes his childhood in Geneva, his “cousin” Elizabeth and best friend Henry Clerval. Victor enters the university of Ingolstadt to study natural philosophy and chemistry. There, he is consumed by the desire to discover the secret of life and, after several years of research, becomes convinced that he has found it.

Upon completing his creation, he finds he has made a terrible mistake and runs away, falling ill with a fever. Henry nurses him back to helath. Victor returns to Geneva when a letter comes informing him that his youngest brother, William, has been murdered. While passing through the woods where William was strangled, he catches sight of the monster and becomes convinced that the monster is his brother’s murderer. Arriving in Geneva, Victor finds that Justine Moritz, a kind, gentle girl who had been adopted by the Frankenstein household, has been accused. She is tried, condemned, and executed, despite her assertions of innocence.

The monster approaches Victor. The monster begs Victor to create a mate for him, a monster equally grotesque to serve as his sole companion. Victor refuses at first, horrified by the prospect of creating a second monster. The monster is eloquent and persuasive, however, and he eventually convinces Victor. Horrified by the possible consequences of his work, Victor destroys his new creation. The monster, enraged, vows revenge, swearing that he will be with Victor on Victor’s wedding night. The next morning, Clerval is found murdered. Victor marries Elizabeth. He fears the monster’s warning and suspects that he will be murdered on his wedding night. To be cautious, he sends Elizabeth away to wait for him. While he awaits the monster, he hears Elizabeth scream and realizes that the monster had been hinting at killing his new bride, not himself. Victor vows to devote the rest of his life to finding the monster and exacting his revenge, and he soon departs to begin his quest.

Victor tracks the monster ever northward into the ice. Walton encounters Victor. Victor, already ill when the two men meet, worsens and dies shortly thereafter. The monster tells Walton of his immense solitude, suffering, hatred, and remorse. He asserts that now that his creator has died, he too can end his suffering. The monster then departs for the northernmost ice to die.


Memorable quotations significant to meaning:

  1. I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision—I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.

  2. Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
    To mould me Man, did I solicit thee
    From darkness to promote me?

  3. What may not be expected in a country of eternal light?

  4. So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein—more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.

  5. I, the miserable and the abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on.

Significance of opening scene:

The novel opens with letters from Robert Walton to his sister. Walton has set out on a sea-faring venture after failing as a poet, and writes to his sister back home of his experiences – such as finding a man we learn to be Victor Frankenstein who recounts his story to Walton, which Walton then transcribes for his sister to read. This lends credibility to the story, as it sets the story of Frankenstein in the real world.


Significance of closing scene:

The end is told in Walton’s letters just as the beginning is. Walton tells his sister he is returning to England, at his crew’s insistence after nearly perishing in ice. Frankenstein dies, and Walton meets the monster, hears the monster’s tale of misery, and pities him before remembering his friend’s tale. The monster leaves, with the intent to die alone, Walton being the last human to ever have to see him.


Characters

 

  1. Victor Frankenstein – The doomed protagonist and narrator of the main portion of the story. Studying in Ingolstadt, Victor discovers the secret of life and creates an intelligent but grotesque monster, from whom he recoils in horror. Victor keeps his creation of the monster a secret, feeling increasingly guilty and ashamed as he realizes how helpless he is to prevent the monster from ruining his life and the lives of others.
  2. The Monster – The eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein. Intelligent and sensitive, the monster attempts to integrate himself into human social patterns, but all who see him shun him. His feeling of abandonment compels him to seek revenge against his creator.
  3. Robert Walton – The Arctic seafarer whose letters open and closeFrankenstein. Walton picks the bedraggled Victor Frankenstein up off the ice, helps nurse him back to health, and hears Victor’s story. He records the incredible tale in a series of letters addressed to his sister, Margaret Saville, in England.
  4. Elizabeth Lavenza –  An orphan, four to five years younger than Victor, whom the Frankensteins’ adopt. In the 1818 edition of the novel, Elizabeth is Victor’s cousin, the child of Alphonse Frankenstein’s sister. In the 1831 edition, Victor’s mother rescues Elizabeth from a destitute peasant cottage in Italy. Elizabeth embodies the novel’s motif of passive women, as she waits patiently for Victor’s attention.
  5. Henry Clerval–  Victor’s boyhood friend, who nurses Victor back to health in Ingolstadt. After working unhappily for his father, Henry begins to follow in Victor’s footsteps as a scientist. His cheerfulness counters Victor’s moroseness.

Setting –

Time – Eighteenth century

Place – Geneva; the Swiss Alps; Ingolstadt; England and Scotland; the northern ice


Symbols:

Light –

In Frankenstein, light symbolizes knowledge, discovery, and enlightenment. The natural world is a place of dark secrets, hidden passages, and unknown mechanisms; the goal of the scientist is then to reach light.

Fire –
The dangerous and more powerful cousin of light is fire. The monster’s first experience with a still-smoldering flame reveals the dual nature of fire: he discovers excitedly that it creates light in the darkness of the night, but also that it harms him when he touches it.


Themes for discussion:

Knowledge –

The pursuit of knowledge is central to Frankenstein. Victor attempts to find knowledge beyond that of human limits – such as the secret to life. Walton has similar pursuits of knowledge in his quest towards the North pole. Knowledge can be dangerous, and lead to ones ruin.

Monstrosity –
Victor Frankenstein creates a monster – literally bringing it to life, and makes it monstrous by ignoring its creation, taking no responsibility for the life he creates. The monster is not monstrous until he is repeated denied love and acceptance and so becomes as monstrous as all assume him to be. Victor himself is a kind of monster, as his ambition, secrecy, and selfishness alienate him from human society. Ordinary on the outside, he may be the true “monster” inside, as he is eventually consumed by an obsessive hatred of his creation.