Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Children's Literature

Bo and Prosper are brothers that have run away after their parents died and they found out their aunt and uncle only want to take in the younger brother, Bo. To stay together, they escape to Venice and fall in with a bunch of other homeless kids in an abandoned movie theater, lead by the thief lord. The kids steal small items to pay for food, but the thief lord comes back with much more expensive items to help out. When Bo and Prosper find out that their aunt has come to Venice and hired an investigator to find them, they are on high alert. The thief lord is presented with a contract to steal a wooden wing for a few million lire. The children work together to figure out how to steal this item while trying to stay out of the private investigator's way.

Having just come off reading Funke's other book Inkheart, which I didn't enjoy all that much, I was surprised that I really enjoyed this one. The characters were cute and enjoyable, including most of the adults. Many of the characters want what they can't have, but somehow find ways to get what they want. All that, topped with a great ending. It's a fun book!

First Line: "It was autumn in Venice when Victor first heard of Prosper and Bo."


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Children's Literature

Meggie is a 12 year old book enthusiast, spurred on by her father who repairs books for a living. One night, a mysterious man appears outside their house and Meggie's father, Mo, invites him in. He turns out to be an old friend who knows much more about Mo's past than Meggie. Stating that the two are in danger, they pack up their belongings and move to Meggie's great-aunt's house. Elinor is even more of a book enthusiast than Meggie and Mo, as her only friends are book and she is completely surrounded by them in her house. Unfortunately danger finds them there too.

Meggie soon learns that her mom did not die when she was young, but that her father is able to read characters in and out of books. One night when Meggie was young, Mo read out some bad characters to Inkheart and accidentally read her mother in to the story. Now those guys are after Mo.

What is a very unique idea for some reason didn't pan out for me. It started pretty slowly, with Mo and Meggie spending way too long at Elinor's house as the author tries to build up that character, but it adds very little to the main plot. Then the characters kept repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again. By the end, I was tired of their antics rather than routing for them and didn't really care what happened.

I won't be continuing in this series.

First Line: "Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain."


Thursday, March 08, 2018

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz


Allison was orphaned at the age of 7 and shuffled around a bit before she wound up in the care of Dr. Capello. She quickly came to love both him and the other children under his roof, including young Roland who she had a crush on. However when Allison was pushed down the stairs of Dr. Capello's house, her aunt came to get her and take her away from that home. She never heard from the family again.

As an adult, Allison is going through a breakup when a package comes from a name she recognizes. Roland has sent her a package asking that she come back to say bye to Dr. Capello, who is dying. Allison is hesitant to go back to the house where she knows someone wanted to hurt her, but wants to see the family she loved.

When Allison returns to her foster family, it's been more than 10 years since she has last seen them. She's unsure about who tried to harm her so you'd think there would be some hesitation from her part to completely open up to these people while she tries to figure out what happened. Instead, the dialogue picks up like she had been living with no break. The dialogue in the book was a bit off for me the entire story, with everyone treating each other a lot more closely than you would have expected in that circumstance.

Getting past this, the book is a light, quick read. To me, this is a perfect summer beach novel. Something that isn't too heavy (though there are some pretty serious parts of the book) and can be finished quickly. I was turning the pages because I wanted to know who was responsible for pushing Allison down the stairs and was a bit surprised by the outcome. I love being surprised by books like this!

First Line: "All Allison wanted was for this conversation to be over."