Book Review: The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3) by Rick Riordan

561456.jpgTitle: The Titan’s Curse
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: May 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
Source: Purchased
Genre(s): Middle Grade, YA, Mythology
Rating: ★★★
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Book Review: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2) by Rick Riordan

28186Title: The Sea of Monsters
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pub Date: April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 280
Source: Purchased
Genre(s): Middlegrade, YA, Mythology
Rating: ★★★★
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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

All Harry Potter wants is to get away from the Dursleys and go back to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby – who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockheart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone–or something–starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself.

My mini-review:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Again, does this even need a review?

I used to think that Chamber of Secrets was my least favorite of the HP books but now that I’ve read it again, I can’t recall why! I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll be marathoning the movies soon enough.

★★★★★ (5 stars) for nearly-headless ghosts, trees that hit back, and one little house elf with a penchant for self-harm.

Book Review: We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless. Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed “It” girl in her class, but her grades stink.

Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder.

They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they—like everyone else—are made of molecules.

My review:

“Right now, as I’m talking to you, you’re probably picking up a few Stewart molecules and vice versa.”

My heart swells for Stewart. To put it in his own words, he is a “quality human being”. The fact that he refers to his parents as quality human beings makes him even more of a quality human being. I just love that.

Stewart is earnest and matter-of-fact and just plain charming. You probably never got to know him in school. Ashley is attractive (and vain) and places no real value on friendship, or family, for that matter. And I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been friends with an Ashley. Or a dozen. Heaven knows I have. Of course, this would not be a good book if mistakes weren’t made and learned from.

I assumed this was a middle grade book, however, there were some very serious topics being discussed. This book is able to talk about death, divorce, homophobia, bullying, and sexual harassment in a way that everyone can understand. It’s important for youth to read about these things to learn about what is and is not okay.

On that note, I really enjoyed the writing style. It was quick and witty and just how I remember feeling when I was 13-years-old. Needless to say, Stewart’s intelligence comes across in his thoughts, and his way of looking at the world–at people–is spectacular. He sees everything for what it is. Ashley’s P.O.V. was entertaining to say the least, often misplacing words like “emancipated” with “unconstipated”. Divorcing from your parents and cleansing your intestines are two very different things. Or maybe it’s not, haha!

My favourite part of this novel was the fact that it takes place in Vancouver, my hometown. It’s surreal reading about streets and trains that you take every day. It made the story that much more real to me.

★★★★ (4.5 stars) because we are all made of molecules. The sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can all accept each other.