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WriterGrl "Melodie" (Ontario, Canada)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Easy Piano Solo
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: Easy Piano Solo
by Hans Zimmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.08
24 used & new from CDN$ 3.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Oct. 22 2008
This book is very fun to play from, and all the songs are hard enough to be challenging but easy enough to be approachable. I wish that some parts of the soundtrack--the wedding, and the beautiful expression of the love theme in At Wit's End, for example--had been included, but I suppose that unless I was a concert pianist I wouldn't be able to play them if they had been, so perhaps it's my gain in the end.
The book arrived promptly, and in perfect condition.
My favourite track is Up is Down...I would say that this book is the best piano book of the three movies (I have all three), but then that would be biased because it's my favourite soundtrack to begin with. However, the pieces in this one did seem slightly easier to play and more fluid. Then again, it's hard to not get frustrated with a 16 page song! (I'm looking at you, 'Jack Sparrow'. Grrr, DMC)

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
by Dave Barry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.99
71 used & new from CDN$ 1.32

4.0 out of 5 stars It departed from the original premise, Oct. 22 2008
This book was quite decent, but it does not seem to be the same series that it started as. This happens quite frequently in trilogies where originally only one book or film was planned, and then later it was decided to turn it into a trilogy. The original was great, and the sequels are good, but they seem to depart in tone and story style (not sure how to describe what I mean).
The original book, Peter and the Starcatchers, was great. Funny and exciting, the nearly 500 pages flew by and not once did the book seem long or overly wordy. Perhaps its only major fault as a prequel was that it gave Peter a love interest who was potentially Wendy's future mother...creepy, when you think about it.
But then Peter and the Shadowthieves came out, and while it was a decent fantasy story, it no longer felt like it had anything to do with Peter Pan. It's hard to believe that this boy, who's been embroiled in intrigues like this and been so grown-up, could suddenly go back to Neverland and practically lose his mind to be like Peter Pan.
Secret of Rundoon was pretty much in that vein. While it did clear up a few more origin details, i.e. Peter's shadow, his lost boys (they had better stop growing soon too or else they'll be Mrs. Darling's age by the time the story catches up), altogether it just felt like Barry and Pearson were writing a story where they conveniently had a flying main character with a fairy. No longer did this feel like "The Peter Pan prequel", it just felt like "A story featuring characters who somewhat resemble younger versions of Peter Pan characters physically". That's not to say it's not a fun read, though probably not a repeat one. The action moves nicely, and it's never a book that feels overly long either. However if you're looking for a good kid's action/adventure type one and you're willing to lose the magic, I would recommend the Airborn trilogy by Kenneth Oppel.

A Hat Full of Sky
A Hat Full of Sky
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 6.24

2.0 out of 5 stars Errr..., Oct. 22 2008
I wanted to like this one. I really did. I adore the adult titles in the series, and the Nac Mac Feegles are hilarious, I wish they would appear in other books. But...I couldn't even finish A Hat Full of Sky. I completely lost interest around 2/3 of the way through, and I would have to say that the main problem is Tiffany herself. She annoyed me. She didn't interest me very much. And she was even more frustrating than in the first book, the Wee Free Men, which was previously my least favourite Discworld book.
That's not to say that the rest of the series isn't good, or even that Pratchett can't write for children. His other YA title, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated rodents, was superb. Instead of reading this, read it, or one of his adult books, such as Hogfather or Monstrous Regiment.

To Catch a Pirate
To Catch a Pirate
by Jade Parker
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh, July 1 2008
I love the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, I love the historical era, and I was hoping that this would be a good historical romance. It was more romance-novel lite set on a ship. The back sounded decently interesting, though the cover didn't look good. I should have judged the book by its cover.
Sure, it was decently written, I won't accuse it of inconsistent characters, etc but it just went entirely in the wrong direction. We could have had an exciting historical romance, but instead we had "feelings in her heart which she didn't want to have...but still did."
There were basically three characters in the book, and I found the occasional romancing between Nathaniel and Annalisa odd. One moment they're kissing and stroking each other's cheeks etc and the other moment she has no romantic feelings for her at all.
There were some missed opportunities here. Black Bart Roberts would have been very interesting, and Crimson whats-his-name, in the idea of the gentleman pirate. The Black Bart Roberts storyline wasn't really resolved anyway...he just showed up, apparently so that James could rescue Annalisa.
I liked the thing about reputation. Probably one of the best parts of the book is when James is having the powder monkeys spit on his ring.
This book could have gone into the idea of poverty and selling children to ships. It could have covered the problems with young boys in practical slavery, the pirates hunting pirates, the expectations for women of the day.
Am I supposed to believe that the hardy pirates would respect Annalisa when she never shows much guts or shrewdness? And what was with the "twist" at the end with Nathaniel? There was practically no clues or foreshadowing for it. It just seemed like the author was throwing it in to get what she needed done.
Maybe the problem is with me. Maybe I came to this book expecting the wrong things out of it. I know many people like this book for what it is: a romance novel. And that's fine.
But if you want a good, more historically accurate novel about pirates, I would recommend "Pirates! the True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates", bye Celia Rees.

Both Sides of Time
Both Sides of Time
by Caroline B. Cooney
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.99
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Not Cooney's best, June 6 2008
A girl in 1995 "falls" back in time 100 years and falls in love with the heir to a fortune. It sounds like a good idea for a book. And if it had been handled properly as a historical romance, it could have been. Unfortunately, it failed to satisfy.
It's not that the descriptions weren't good, because they were. Unfortunately, the book suffered from having supporting characters who were more interesting, consistent, and believable than its main characters.
Annie knows Strat for approximately 3 hours or so, and already they are in "love" forever, she is the most beautiful, amazing person that he ever met, and he can think of nothing else. Obviously the attraction between these two at this point is just lust. Other characters (mostly antagonists) point this out throughout, and I expected this to be addressed, and for them to really fall in a deeper, love, but it never happened. Annie doesn't show nearly enough shock about the fact that she just TIME TRAVELLED. Strat, we're supposed to like, as he thinks about the fact that he wants to rip Annie's clothes off, and tells his sister that it is not for her to think about murder.
This novel did have strong characters in it-unfortunately, they were minor characters. Devonny was very forward thinking, Florinda won my sympathy by the end, Bridget I desperately wanted to triumph (though never really doubted her safety...rule of children's books: never squash hope by punishing the immigrant), and Harriet, frankly, was the most sympathetic character of all, and my favourite. I understood her predicament and she seemed real.
The novel also had satisfyingly evil, hissable villains. Walker Wakley, especially, I wanted to kick in the nether regions and lock in jail for the rest of his life. Mr. Stratton was also quite detestable...until he had an unexplained (and rather unbelievable) change of heart quite suddenly at the end.
Also, the time travel aspect was not handled very well. The idea that she was changing things without repercussions in the future, *and* that time continued in the future, made absolutely no sense. The past was more like a parralel universe or dimension or something (think Narnia) than history. And if Strat and them really did exist, why did Annie never consider going to the library and looking them up to see what happened to them?
Don't get me wrong. I love history. I love science fiction. And I love romance. But this book had main characters I didn't like and a romantic main plot that didn't interest me at all. I've read several other books by Cooney, and I know she can write better than this.
Final rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
by Hans Zimmer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.07
27 used & new from CDN$ 5.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, April 1 2008
I absolutely adore this music and I was so glad that I bought it. It's great to play music that I already know, and I can finally play the Love Theme. Unfortunately, there are some chords that no one but my piano teacher can play, they're so huge and crazy. Also...they cut out some of the best parts of the music, even though they include some of the track: for example, the crescendo in At Wit's End, and the entire wedding scene in "I Don't Think Now's the Time". Altogether, a great score.

Angel's Command
Angel's Command
by Brian Jacques
Edition: Library Binding

4.0 out of 5 stars Angel's Command, April 1 2008
This review is from: Angel's Command (Library Binding)
Brian Jacques's books have an interesting quality in that they are good while you're reading, but for the first portion, you don't really care if you come back or not. They don't grab hold of you and refuse to let go. And then, if you persist in reading long enough, they finally get a hold on you and you read nonstop till the end. The Angel's Command was like that. In the beginning it was just another pirate book; I had read enough of them that it didn't stand out...but it's strength in the first half was that it was just another pirate book...and I love those. Well drawn characters and plenty of wit and excitement brought me quickly to the second part. While the Razan were a bit over the top, I loved Karay and wished that she could be in more books, because she's so smart and crafty. There was a great bit with a very special animal at the end that completely surprised me. Another complaint? Unfortunately, immortal people can never seem to have any romances.

Castaways Of The Flying Dutchman
Castaways Of The Flying Dutchman
by Brian Jacques
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, March 10 2008
At first, this was the kind of novel that I could pick up and read for a few chapters, but once I put it down, I felt no real urge to go back and read more until I was bored again. For some reason, the terror and excitement of the high seas wasn't that interesting to me...maybe I'm just jaded from too many pirate movies. Davy Jones, anyone? But interestingly enough, once Ben and Ned got to Chapelvale, the story really took off, with bumbling villains, a mystery, and interesting characters. Also, Brian Jacques has a real knack for writing accents, as we can tell from his ferrets and moles in Redwall. However, there are a couple minor quibbles: the first is that the ending is a slight let down, but then, I was hoping for a romance between Amy and Ben...maybe that's not allowed under his immortality thing. And secondly, sometimes the dialog between between Ben and Ned seemed rather forced...they kept on saying "pal", etc. Oh, but Horatio's "dialog" thought patterns were hilarious!

Let Go
Let Go
Price: CDN$ 6.99
65 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Let Go, Feb. 29 2008
This review is from: Let Go (Audio CD)
I actually didn't buy this album until after I bought Let Go, so looking at it in a sort of artistic retrospect I can see that it's musically and lyrically immature compared to Under My Skin. However, it is incredibly catchy, happier and more upbeat. Oh yeah, and by the time you buy the album you'll probably already know half the songs.
Songs:
Losing Grip: 6/10. The lyrics are incredibly bad, but it's got a nice chorus and it *is* catchy.
Complicated: 7/10. This is actually a really great song, but it's so overplayed that you get sick of it.
Sk8r Boi: 8/10. This song, though also overplayed, tells a great bratty story and the guitar riffs are cool.
I'm With You: 9/10. This song is lonely and sad sounding, but it's also very pretty and fragile.
Mobile: 6/10. Awful verses, awesome chorus. A total filler song.
Unwanted: 6/10. We're suddenly hit by a power rocker, and it's a bit of a shock after all that rock-pop.
Tomorrow: 6/10. This song is slow and acoustic, with the same kind of vulnerability and sensitivity as "I'm with You", but it lacks the catchiness of that and ends up simply a 'nice song'.
Anything but Ordinary: 8/10. This song is insufferably catchy...but the 'succulent...i wanna taste it' part is embarassing, and the lalala voices in the background are weird.
Thing's I'll Never Say: 12/10. This song is my absolute FAVORITE, I would practically have bought the album just for it, it could make 3 stars by itself. It is completely accurate in expressing how unrequited unspoken love feels, and resonates completely.
My World: 7/10. This is a cool song, but it's sorta strange. Avril's voice sounds funny, and some of the lyrics are awkard or seemingly irrelevant (what else is new?) but some of them are also funny, and for some reason you listen to it again and again. Maybe that's because it's about something unique, not just another "boy-angst song".
Nobody's Fool: 4/10. Oogh. I hate rap in the best of cases, and she can't even rap to begin with.
Too Much to Ask: 8/10. Other than some dumb lyrics in the verses (until you chose weed over me/you're so lame) it's got an interesting combination in the chorus: anger and sensitive sadness at the same time. Oh, and there's a great line in here too, surprisingly: "you can't see the world through a mirror"
Naked: 7/10. It's an okay song, but even though she sings about being vulnerable and transparent, she isn't really, not as much as in other songs.

Snow
Snow
by Tracy Lynn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A great, dark spin on a fairy tale I used to hate., Oct. 12 2007
This review is from: Snow (Mass Market Paperback)
I'll be frank. I usually hate the original fairytales. When I was younger, I was never really into reading them because I had already moved on to fantasy such as The Chronicles of Narnia and the Hobbit. It's not that I don't like fantasy. It's just that these stories were filled with beautiful, weak heroines who are always waiting for their princes to come and not doing anything about it. The same went for all the Disney Princesses. Of all of them, the only one I ever really liked was the brave, book-loving Belle from Beauty and the Beast. And of all the fairytales, one of the ones I disliked the most was Snow White. Until I read this book.
Dark, plausible, psychologically interesting, and full of exciting twists and turns, it was everything the original wasn't. The heroine was strong, the evil stepmother was actually beautiful (i always had a problem with how that old crone was considered the fairest of them all), there was a story behind the *magic* mirror, snow didn't ditch the dwarves after she woke up again, and...most importanly, they got rid of the prince. i always had a problem how about how all the prince had to do was come up and plant one on her and then she wakes up and just because he's a good kisser she decides he's the love of her life. the romance in this one was unpredictable, odd, and incredibly satisfying...I fell in love with the unexpected love interest.
All in all, a great thriller...and another spin on a fairy tail that makes the original so much better. Recommended for those who have read "Just Ella" bye Margaret Peterson Haddix", or "Ella Enchanted and Fairest" by Gail Carson Levine, or any of the books in this series by Cameron Dokey.

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