Mini-reviews: Looking for Alaska by John Green; Storm Front by Jim Butcher; and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

lookingforalaskaTitle: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Genre: YA contemporary fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
First line: The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.

John Green has done it again – and he is rapidly becoming one of my favorite YA authors. His characters are so authentic and he captures the turmoil that is the high school years – those days of metamorphosis between childhood and adulthood. There were parts that had me laughing so hard I had to stop reading, and one part that had me sobbing as I read in the van while waiting for the kids to get out of P.E. class. I loved the characters in Looking for Alaska so much that I hated to see the book end.

stormfrontTitle: Storm Front
Author: Jim Butcher
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: ROC
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library.
First line: I heard the mailman approach my office door, half an hour earlier than usual.

Storm Front is the first book in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, a paranormal mystery series that starts with a bang. Harry is private detective that consults with the Chicago police department when they have crimes that can’t be explained by human means. As he carries out the investigation in this mystery about people dying when their hearts explode out of their chests from the inside, he interviews vampires, fairies, and encounters a dark wizard whose powers rival his own. You’ll find lots of action, great humor, and tongue-in-cheek homage to the hard-boiled detective character.

chamberofsecretsTitle: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Children’s fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Jim Dale
First line: Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four Privet Drive.

The kids and I finished listening to this on audio a couple of months ago, and the draft of the review got lost in the shuffle. We loved it – the kids are having fun spotting all the things that got left out of the movies. We’ve already started The Prisoner of Azkaban, which I’m very excited about, because it’s the first book that has plotlines that were completely skipped in the film.

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20 Responses to Mini-reviews: Looking for Alaska by John Green; Storm Front by Jim Butcher; and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    We are seriously loving the HP audios. We are on #5 right now, and it is 24 discs, so we’ll be at it for awhile.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins (audio) =-.

  2. lilly says:

    I’m glad to hear you enjoyed Harry Dresden’s adventures. I have so far read the first 5 books and they just keep getting better. Definitely a very fun twist on a paranormal genre.
    .-= lilly´s last blog ..2-in-1: Sacred hearts by Sarah Dunant & The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Lilly – I like the mixture of mystery with the paranormal. Told my Dad about them – I know he’ll love them, too.

  3. Kathy says:

    I won Looking for Alaska during BBAW and after your review, I can’t wait to read it.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Review: Simon’s Cat =-.

  4. Vasilly
    Twitter: Vasilly

    You’ve read three great books back-to-back! So I guess this means you’ll be checking out the next book in the Dresden Files series?
    .-= Vasilly´s last blog ..Change for the Better =-.

  5. softdrink says:

    3 cheers for John Green!

  6. Alita says:

    Looking for Alaska had me sobbing, too. And that right before I had to leave for a big family get together. I arrived puffy-eyed and bummed. ha!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I’ve been meaning to read Paper Towns this week, hopefully I can get to it tomorrow.
    .-= Alita´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday (01.19.10) =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Alita – I know – it’s like you could see it coming, but couldn’t look away. So sad.

  7. Pingback: Mommy Brain » At Books and Movies lately

  8. Kailana says:

    I really enjoyed LOOKING FOR ALASKA when I read it last year. I have read STORM FRONT, too, but have never read on in the series…
    .-= Kailana´s last blog ..Library Loot – January 19, 2010 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Hi, Kelly – I have a habit of doing that, too – i’ll read one in a series and like it, but then other books are calling to me and I forget to get back to it.

  9. Michele says:

    I read Looking for Alaska last year and I swear, that scene where they play their prank and are running to get away from the headmaster was the funniest thing I think I have ever read…..I just sat their laughing so hard tears were running down my face. I even read the scene out loud to my husband and he was laughing so hard his side cramped up, LOL. I’ll never forget that book just for that reason!
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Good News for Amazonian Devil Device Owners… =-.

  10. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12

    I loved “Looking for Alaska” too and it’s made me want to read more from Green. He’s going to be doing a reading in my city next month and I’m hoping to make it to the event. Thanks for the great reviews!
    .-= Melissa´s last blog .. =-.

  11. Tyler_Hendu says:

    I really loved the book then they had to erase Alaska!!