The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by: C.S. Lewis (Book One)
“Think what Another World means – you might meet anything – anything.” – Uncle Andrew to Diggory Kirke
Diggory had many adventures with his friend Polly, but the two of them fought a lot, like siblings. But this time, Uncle Andrew has a special “adventure” in plan for them.
Background for Uncle Andrew: 1. He thinks he’s a great magician 1A. He really isn’t. He doesn’t understand a single thing he’s doing 2. Blame everything that happens in the book on him. 2A. I’m very serious.
Now that’s settled with, let’s get on with the story.
So Uncle Andrew had been experimenting with some “magic” (it’s all a bunch of nonsense that happens to do something) and makes a yellow (outwards) ring and a green (homeward) ring. But he wanted some test subjects to make sure he was correct.
After some unfortunate event, Diggory and Polly end up in his study and Uncle Andrew decides to make these two innocent children his test subjects. Long story short, Polly and Diggory arrive at the Other World and after a few “jumps” they end up waking a witch named Jadis, taking her back to their world, and cause havoc.
Background on Jadis: 1. She’s awoken by Diggory following the riddle by striking the bell at Charn (the idiot, but like I said, blame this on Uncle Andrew since Diggory wouldn’t have done all this in the first place if Uncle Andrew didn’t send him here) 1A. And she takes them captive to “jump” around with them 2. She’s very tall and pretty which causes Uncle Andrew to follow her orders 3. She grants no mercy to those to cross her bad side. She likes things her way 4. She comes in on later books, so remember her!
Now the big question is: how do we get Jadis out of London and into a different world? That’s for you to find out.
I rate this book a 10/10 because, although not my favorite book in the series, it kept me turning the pages. There are some very boring parts, but I promise you everything gets better. And watch for a very important character that comes in at the very end because he’s in all the books. That’s all for now! Until next time… keep reading!
Miss Peregrine’s Home For PeculiarChildren introduces the world of peculiars, a secret group of individuals born with strange abilities and attributes that set them apart from the rest of humanity. Hunted by bloodthirsty creatures called hollowgast, peculiars are protected by women known as ymbrynes who can transform into birds and manipulate time. Ymbrynes– like the titular Miss Peregrine– watch over their wards inside loops, portals of safety where the same day is repeated over and over again. For hundreds of years, peculiars have lived inside these loops, never aging and sheltered from the threats of the outside world. But sinister forces threaten to destroy the world of peculiardom, and its inhabitants have no idea what’s to come…
Jacob Portman, the narrator of the story, grew up listening to his grandfather’s tales of the children’s home on a tiny island off the coast of Wales where magical children lived in paradise, watched over by their benevolent headmistress. As a child, he would hang onto his grandfather’s every word, relishing the tales of his grandfather’s brave adventures and extraordinary friends. But as Jacob grew older and his grandfather began to sink into dementia’s grip, he stopped believing the man’s fantastical tales– until a traumatizing night leads him to travel to that tiny island and see for himself– and suddenly, the stories don’t seem so implausible.
As Jacob is thrust into the mind-bending world of the peculiars, he discovers more about his grandfather and himself than he ever thought possible. With an intriguing narrative style and hauntingly fascinating vintage photography, Ransom Riggs takes the reader along for Jacob’s incredible ride, creating a vivid new world that’s unlike anything I’ve read before. Truly unique, this book (and the rest in its series) is hard to put down and is a must-read for anyone looking for a new YA fantastical adventure that’s different from the norm. There’s action, romance, mystery, and even some humor mixed in with an awesome cast of characters that will win you over from the start.
The narrative voice, in the first-person view of Jacob, is descriptive and articulate without forsaking the heart of his character. The author’s style is expressive and vivid, assisted by the distinctive addition of the vintage photographs interspersed throughout the book. The pictures are what truly make this series unique, and add a touch of stirring realism to the plotline. The book’s plot was written partially around the photographs that the author had found and included, and the rest of the photos were chosen because they fit what the author had in mind. I love this addition to the books, and they’re a big part of what makes the series unforgettable.
The world of peculiardom is a fascinating and multi-faceted one, and the farther you read into the series, the more wide and diverse it grows. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children introduces the world well, but with each new book in the series, Ransom Riggs finds a new way to expand its borders. Its inhabitants are equally as diverse and fascinating as the world they live in, and I fell in love with all of them almost immediately. It’s interesting to read how their peculiarities can align with their personalities– for example; Emma, one of the main protagonists, sparks flames from her hands and is the fiery, determined leader of the group. Bronwyn, a girl with extraordinary strength, is the mother hen of the children and a natural protector. Each of Miss Peregrine’s peculiar wards has a distinctive personality, as does every new character they meet during their journeys. The variety of peculiar abilities and attributes of these characters is astounding as well.
One thing I love about this book and its series is the nature of the peculiarities. Rather than give his characters differing versions of “superpowers”, the author has created a group of people (and occasionally, animals) who simply possess attributes and abilities that place them (far) outside the realm of normal. Some of the peculiars can do things that seem familiar to us in the realm of science fiction, like Bronwyn’s strength or Emma’s fire. But more often, peculiars are born with other traits– like the mouth in the back of Claire’s head, the way Olive is simply lighter than air, or the bees that live inside of Hugh– that you won’t find between the pages of comic book. Their peculiarness is delightfully strange in a way that enhances the dark and supernatural feel of the story, which sets it apart from your average science fiction novel about kids with superpowers.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a darkly fascinating book that sets off an intriguing and endlessly riveting series. You won’t be able to get enough of this book and its peculiar world once you’ve fallen under its captivating spell, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a series with a distinctive and enthralling concept.
In the novel, P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, Lara Jean Song Covey finds herself being pursued by two boys between whom she must choose. Peter Kavinsky was her boyfriend until she broke up with him because he lied to her. John Ambrose McClaren is a grade school friend with whom Lara Jean has recently reconnected. Even though John is the sort of boy she always dreamed of, Peter is the boy she loves despite his flaws.
Lara Jean asks her father to drop her off at Peter’s house after they leave their family’s New Year’s Day party. She has written a letter of apology to Peter but has decided to talk to him face to face. As she tries to talk to Peter, she senses he is not interested in her apology. He sees the letter she wrote to him in her pocket and takes it away from her. After he has read that heartfelt apology, he tells her that he had just been playing hard to get. They renew their relationship and even agree on a contract that they believe will keep them from breaking each other’s heart.
Things are immediately difficult for Lara Jean and Peter when a video of them in a hot tub appears on the Instagram site Anonybitch. It appears they are having sex. In reality, they are only kissing. The next day that video is gone. Peter says that he sent a complaint to the site threatening a lawsuit to make them take it down.
Lara Jean believes it was her former best friend, Genevieve, who is also Peter’s ex-girlfriend, who submitted the video to the Instagram site. When Lara Jean confronts Genevieve, Genevieve claims she did not submit the video. However, Lara Jean notices the corner of her mouth turns down as it does when she lies. When Lara Jean tells Peter that she thinks it was Genevieve who submitted the video, Peter promises to talk to Genevieve about it. Even though they are no longer dating, Peter and Genevieve are closer friends than Lara Jean would like them to be. Peter reports to Lara Jean later that Genevieve said she did not post the video and he believes her.
Meanwhile, things are changing in Lara Jean’s neighborhood. An older couple has bought the Pearces’ house and is planning to tear down the tree house where all the neighborhood kids once played. Lara Jean remembers how the old gang had buried a time capsule near the tree house and decides to have a time capsule party to say farewell to the treehouse. John is one of the friends who is invited to the party even though he no longer lives in the neighborhood.
The party is emotional for Lara Jean not only because she realizes she is attracted to John but also because Peter brings Genevieve with him even though Lara Jean did not invite her. The group decides to play a game of Assassins, a game they played in grade school, for old times sakes. Lara Jean decides she wants to win the game simply to prove that she is stronger than Genevieve believes.
When Peter unintentionally tells Lara Jean that he knew that it was Genevieve who submitted the hot tub video but did not tell Lara Jean the truth, Lara Jean breaks up with him. Peter is angered when he sees John and Lara Jean together at a USO themed party that Lara Jean organized for the retirement home where she volunteers. He demands to know if Lara Jean is dating John. He claims he has been friendly to Genevieve only because she was going through a stressful thing with her family. When Lara Jean asks, however, he will not tell her what is happening with Genevieve.
In the game of Assassins, Lara Jean and Genevieve are the only two players left alive. Following Genevieve to tag her out, Lara Jean discovers that Genevieve has been upset because her father is cheating on her mother with a girl who is just a couple years older than Genevieve. With this new information, Lara Jean hurts for her old friend and understands why Genevieve would have called on Peter to comfort her. Even though Lara Jean believes she could love John, she still loves Peter. When Peter asks if they can mend their relationship she agrees.
This book is also very good 10/10 recommend. This is also being made in to a movie. stay tuned for the last installment of the to all the boys series.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved before tells the story of Lara Jean Covey and her family, as they adjust to life after her older sister Margot moves to Scotland to attend college. Lara Jean has to cope with the fallout from her private love letters being mailed to all of her crushes without her sister’s advice to guide her. In the prologue, Lara Jean explains that she writes love letters to boys that she has loved as a way of getting over them: once she has expressed her feelings on paper she feels she can move on and she does not intend to ever send the letters. She keeps the letters in a teal hatbox.
Margot informs Lara Jean that she has broken up with her long-term boyfriend Josh ahead of moving away to attend college in Scotland. The news makes Lara Jean think about her own relationship with Josh, whom she has had romantic feelings for since before he started dating Margot. Margot leaving will be difficult for the Covey family to cope with, because she has been the one who has kept the others organized since the death of their mom several years earlier.
One day at school, Lara Jean is approached by a boy named Peter Kavinsky who wants to discuss some inaccuracies about him in a letter that she wrote him. After initially protesting that she did not write to him, Lara Jean is horrified to discover that he is holding a love letter from her hatbox. Lara Jean races home and discovers that the hatbox is missing: she asks her father, Dr. Covey, and her younger sister, Kitty, if they know where it is, but they do not.
The next day at school, Margot’s ex-boyfriend Josh asks Lara Jean about the love letter he has received from her. Not wanting to admit that she still has feelings for him, Lara Jean tells Josh that she is dating Peter Kavinsky, whom she grabs and kisses as he walks by. Later, Lara Jean explains to Peter why she kissed him and he suggests that they should pretend to be a couple so that things can go back to normal between her and Josh and so that Peter can make his ex-girlfriend Genevieve jealous.
Peter starts giving Lara Jean a ride to school in the mornings and he also drives Kitty: Kitty and Peter get on well with each other. Peter helps Lara Jean make cupcakes for Kitty’s PTA bake sale before taking Lara Jean to a party and invites her to join him on a trip to an estate sale to scout purchases for his mom’s antique business. Both Margot and Josh are unhappy that Lara Jean is dating Peter, but Dr. Covey and Kitty really like him and are pleased that he is Lara Jean’s boyfriend.
In the run up to Christmas, Peter helps Lara Jean and Kitty with plans for their annual Christmas Cookie Bonanza: a tradition that used to involve Margot and Josh. Peter convinces Lara Jean to come on the school ski trip with him. Josh helps the Covey family decorate their Christmas tree and kisses Lara Jean, telling her that he has always had feelings for her. When Margot returns for the holidays she is upset that the others made the cookies and decorated the tree without her. Margot makes plans to hold a recital party for their neighbors in their home.
On the ski trip, Peter tells Lara Jean that he has developed feelings for her and that he wants them to be a real couple. After initially rejecting Peter’s advances, Lara Jean finds him in the hot tub, gets in alongside him, and they kiss. The next day, Peter’s ex-girlfriend Genevieve tells Lara Jean about a rumor that Peter and Lara Jean had sex in the hot tub. Mortified, Lara Jean blames Peter for the spread of the rumor and refuses to speak to him.
Peter attends the recital party at the Covey’s house because Kitty invited him. Peter confronts Josh about kissing Lara Jean and Margot overhears. Margot tells Dr. Covey the rumor about Lara Jean from the ski trip and he offers to take Lara Jean to the doctors to arrange birth control. Lara Jean confronts Margot and they eventually reconcile after Lara Jean tells Margot how much she looks up to her and Margot confesses how difficult she has found it setting a good example for Lara Jean and Kitty since the death of their mom.
Kitty confesses to Lara Jean that it was her who stole the hatbox and mailed the love letters. Kitty reveals that she has kept all of the notes that Peter sent to Lara Jean during the course of their fake relationship. Reading back through the notes, Lara Jean realizes that she still has feelings for Peter and she begins to write him another letter.
This is the first book in the to all the boys trilogy. so stay tuned for the others. 10/10 would recommend.
Okay, I know I was gonna do a Spies in Disguise review, but this idea was too good to pass up.
2020 is shaping up to be a great year for cinema. From new superhero flicks to more car movies, there truly is something for everyone. These are my most anticipated.
First up on the list is Tenet. We know almost nothing about this film. However, the trailer looks great. It looks like it has an interesting plot (whatever it is) and has a great cast.
Release: July 17
Next up is Wonder Woman 1984. This one looks like a good action flick in general. The original was great, so I hope this is as well. Release: June 5
Finally, we have Fast and Furious 9. This one is self-explanatory. Action, cars, and just pure fun is what this one looks like. Also, this one looks a bit more grounded in reality than the other films. And the best part, Vin Diesel. The man is a great actor.
An honorable mention I have is Minions: The Rise Of Gru. Listen, I’m not looking for something high quality here. I’m just looking for a fun movie with some good laughs.
Brian Robeson has to crash land in the forest of a Canadian wilderness when the pilot of a small, two-person plane has a heart attack and dies. He has little time to realize how alone he is, for he’s only trying to survive. And learning to survive, planning food not just for a day, but until and when he is rescued, begins only when he stops pitying himself and realizes that no one can help.
He is alone, without his divorced father, who he was to see, or his mother, who Brian saw before the divorce kissing another man. This is a heart-stopping story: Brian seems to have to face a life-and-death decision at every moment, and every page makes readers think about the amount of vivid information that Paulsen has expertly put together.
Poetic imagery and actual events converge in order to create something beyond adventure, a novel that plunges readers into the cleft of the life of the protagonist, Brian. This book is great for kids 10 to 13 years of age.
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand by: Jonathan Stroud (Book One)
Nathaniel is a young magician in training, who’s birth parents left him at the age of five so he can practice. His master, Arthur Underwood, works for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He’s cold, cruel, and distant. He never calls Nathaniel by his name, instead, opting to call him “boy,” or “you.” Nathaniel doesn’t like him that much, and his only saving-grace is Arthur’s wife, Martha Underwood. Her no-nonsense and unconditional affection gives Nathaniel a home. In return for her love, he gives her his unconditional loyalty.
It was right before Nathaniel’s eleventh birthday when Simon Lovelace, a higher ranking magician, shows up on their front step and publicly humiliates Nathaniel. His unfaithful master does nothing, and he plans revenge, his blood boiling.
Nathaniel reads books and practices, perfecting and growing his strength to defeat the magician who had defeated him in the past and to show his master that he is worth more than anything. Finally, Nathaniel is ready to execute his plan. Step One? Summon a 14th level djinn who’s 5,000 years old. Oh, and preferably strong and sneaky. The perfect djinn. And it’s yours truly, Bartimaeus.
After a messy summoning that somehow goes right, Bartimaeus is under Nathaniel’s control and has to do a task only a skilled djinn can do, steal Simon Lovelace’s prized possession: the Amulet of Samarkand.
Little does he know that stealing this treasure would pull him into a mystery of murder and lying. He’s trapped in an adventure that is dangerous at every turn, but can he make things right again?
I give this book a 10/10 (it’s really good!). It’s full of magic and characters that you will love (or hate). The plot is always moving forward, and I don’t remember a single part where I was bored! This book is about 400 pages, so it’s pretty long, but I promise all 400-ish pages are totally worth the read. Enjoy the book!