Harmony Book Reviews

Archive for November 2008

The Funeral Director's Son

Title: The Funeral Director’s Son

Author: Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Rating: 7/10

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

This family business is for life…

In the small town of Clover, when you die, you are put to rest by Campbell and Sons Funeral Home. Unfortunately twelve-year-old Kip Campbell happens to be the only “son” in that title. And that’s a problem for him since the funeral home business is the last thing he wants to inherit, even if he has a “gift” for it. See, it just so happens that Kip can talk to the dead. Well, they talk to him, really. They tell him what they need in order to move on to the great beyond. Kip wants to move too. Straight out of Clover. He’s about to give notice — he’s done helping the dead — when he’s offered a surprising deal: Find out the secret that is holding back old Billy Blye, and Kip will receive his weight in gold. That would be enough to take him far away from Clover, and Campbell and Sons Funeral Home.
My Thoughts: I absolutely adored The Wedding Planner’s Daughter and the following sequels so I was excited to hear about the release of her new series.

But, unlike the previous series, The Funeral Director’s Son did have me smiling and laughing constantly and the character’s did not feel all that relateable. However, that could also be blamed partly on the fact that the MC of this one is male and I am not.

The plot itself was quite entertaining, as predictable as it was. The characters, with the exception of Kip, weren’t too highly developed but for a barely 100 page novel, what can you expect?

The thing is, though, that I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t the most original story, the writing wasn’t the best, and there definitely could have been more depth to it all but I wasn’t expecting any of that. For all that it is, The Funeral Director’s Son works for it’s intended age group.


Since I haven’t posted in a few days, and there’s been no review for a while, I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that I was still alive. 😛 Yesterday was crazy but today was much calmer. I was planning on posting today but Amazon went all screwy and I gave up. BUT, I have reviews that will be going up soon, and just in case you wanted a preview, a few of the books are: The Funeral Director’s Son, Deadly Little Secret (<333), Paper Towns, and Anatomy of a BF.

Also, I’m working my butt off to get my Etsy shop opened up. 🙂

So, honor of Thanksgiving Eve and the fabulous Diana Rodriguez Wallach, I will be giving away a copy of Amigas and School Scandals!

To Enter:

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Deadline: December 1st

Amigas and School ScandalsTitle: Amigas and School Scandals

Author: Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Rating: 8/10

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Mariana Ruiz is bringing a lot home from her vacation in Puerto Rico, including memories of a hot summer romance, a new understanding of her cousin Lilly Sanchez who’s enrolling in Mariana’s suburban Philadelphia high school.Mariana’s best friends, Madison and Emily, aren’t thrilled about the new arrival, especially when Lilly soars through the ranks of Spring Mills High’s social circles. But Mariana has other things on her mind. Like Mariana’s developing crush on her locker buddy, Bobby, the one boy to ever take Emily on a real date. But it’s the revelations at Mariana’s Sweet 16 party that make it clear that life at Spring Mills High School will never be the same again.

My Thoughts: Whoa. I thought there a was a lot of drama in Amor and Summer Secrets but there’s so much more in Amigas and School Scandals. Mariana is back home from Puerto Rico, bring Lily with her. Her friends are still ticked off at her, her uncles don’t know about her long-lost aunt, and her brother is finally off to College. So, obviously, she has a lot on her mind.

But, even with all the drama, Wallach kept everything true to the first book, and it didn’t end up like some MTV drama. The characters matured, even with all the crazy drama, which was a nice toner to the story. The plot was definitely a realistic one, because we all know how things all seem to happen at once, and there was never a boring moment. As with the first book, the ending was a bit of a cliff-hanger so I can’t wait for the third. I definitely recommend this, especially if you enjoyed the first.

Once again, I’m “stealing” this from The Story Siren. She just set up some rules and Mr. Linky so if you want to join us, go check it out!

VampsConfessions (Private, Book 4)Inner Circle (Private, Book 5)

*Vamps by Nancy A. Collins

*Confessions (Private #4) by Kate Brian

*Inner Circle (Private #5) by Kate Brian

I also recieved Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson, Shimmer by Dallas Reed, Totally Fabulous by Michelle Radford, and Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones but NONE of those covers ar available online 😦

So I went to see the Twilight movie premiere last night (well, this morning) and I liked it. Actually, I loved it and I plan on seeing it again. It definitely wasn’t perfect because I definitely had some issues with certain scenes but it almost made me tear up and squeal.

But, looking around the cyberspace, I’ve found that many people don’t feel the same way. And to that I say this: THE MOVIE IS NOT THE BOOK SO DO NOT EXPECT IT TO BE LIKE IT! Hollywood is smart. They like making money. So, what do they do? They take a mega-popular book and turn it into a movie with a Harry Potter hottie, keeping the major points but changing a lot. It’s what they do. If you don’t like it, then don’t go see the movie. Besides, how are they supposed to fit all of the little details of a 400+ page book into a two hour movie?

That being said, here are my major issues:

There’s not enough tension in the romance part! She sees him, he stares at her, he leaves, comes back, introduces himself, saves her from a car, ignores her, she talks to Jake, and then informs him she knows what he is. Great. But there’s supposed to be more to it than that! Where’s the innocence that it starts out with? It pretty much lasts through the whole movie!

My other major problem was when Edward was sucking Bella’s blood. It was creepy. I get that they had to show how hard it was for him to stop but seriously, that was not the way.

That being said, I lovelovelovelovelove the way Robert Pattison showed all of the emotions. The longing about he shouldn’t be with her, the pain of what he is, etcetc. PERFECT. He was also ridiculously hilarious. (“Google It”)

Kristen was a perfect Bella. She played the clumsy and the whole falling in love with what she couldn’t have well. Loved it.

And the kiss scene. OMG. (Yes, I did just say that) It was great. Pattison played Edward’s emotions at the end very well.

I pretty much loved all those little scenes.

Kellan Lutz as Emmett was a genius idea. He was hilarious and played the part so well. Nikki Reed played Rosalie SO well (I loved the part when they were fixing Bella dinner). Ashley Greene as Alice was perfect. I loved her hair and she was exactly as I pictured Alice.

The other major-minor characters (Tyler, Mike, Eric, Jessica, etc) weren’t really what I was expecting but I loved their personalities and I think they did a great job.

So basically, I loved the movies. They as true to the books as you can expect Hollywood too, the actors were great, and the suspense and emotions were right on. I can’t wait to go see it again!!

I’m stealing this idea from The Story Siren. Basically, every week or every other week, I’ll make a post of what books I recieved in the mail. This week, I recieved a TON of books in the mail. Most of them were from Penguin.

WillowPaisley Hanover Acts OutBecause I am Furniture

*Willow by Julia Hoban

*Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle

*Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Beautiful AmericansTriple Shot Bettys in LoveYou Are So Undead to Me

*Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

*Triple Shot Bettys in Love by Jody Gehrman

*You Are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay

The King's RoseFlygirlJust One Wish

*The King’s Rose by Alisa Libby

*Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

*Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

If I StayPeace, LocomotionRowan of the Wood

*If I Stay by Gayle Forman

*Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson

*Rowan of the Wood by Christine and Ethan Rose


*I also recieved Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and Heartbreak River by Tricia Mills but the covers are not available on Amazon.

I love the Christmas season. It’s my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love presents. And no, I don’t mean getting them. I mean GIVING them. I go crazy every single year. This year, everyone is getting books, whether they read a lot or not.  My little brother is getting books of all his favorite Noggin shows, I bought about 10 or so Pony Pal books for my younger cousin, and I’ve also got the My Side of the Mountain trilogy in my cart, as well as Marley & Me, Frenemies by Alexa Young, Boston Terriers, and a ton more. I’m still looking for book recommendations for my little little cousins and my fantasy-loving friend.

But, the thing is, all of those cost MONEY. Yes, they are semi-cheap, and definitely cheaper than most other things I would have gotten everyone but my $100 Christmas budget is NOT going to cut it. So, therefore, I’ve resorted to crafts. I’ve started making Christmas cards, tags, ornaments, those jars full of cocoa mix and some other things. Now I’m searching for more ideas.

Then everything is going on Etsy. Hopefully I came make a few extra bucks because I’d love to get more books for other people too. (I told you, I’m ADDICTED to Christmas shopping!!) Since I’m sure all of you are buying books for Christmas presents, wouldn’t you love the perfect gift tag or card to go on the present? And who doesn’t need another ornament for that tree? So keeping watching because pictures are coming!

Artichoke's Heart

Title: Artichoke’s Heart

Author: Suzanne Supplee


Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Rosemary Goode is smart and funny and loyal and the best eyebrow waxer in Spring Hill, Tennessee. But only one thing seems to matter to anyone, including Rosemary: her weight. And when your mom runs the most successful (and gossipy) beauty shop in town, it can be hard to keep a low profile. Rosemary resolves to lose the weight, but her journey turns out to be about everything but the scale. Her life-changing, waist-shrinking year is captured with brutal honesty and humor, topped with an extralarge helping of Southern charm. A truly uncommon novel about an increasingly common problem.

My Thoughts: Wow. I was so incredibly blown away by Artichoke’s Heart. I only wish I’d picked it up sooner. The one thing that stopped me from doing so was the fact it was about a “fat” girl losing weight and generally, I shy away from those books. I rarely find them to be realistic and since I relate to this subject very closely, it just aggravates me. But Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee did anything but that.

Rosemary Goode is probably the most realistic character I’ve read about. Yes, she’s “fat” to some people but she also has an incredible personality. The way she thinks and sees other people from a “fat girls” perspective is something you don’t ever really hear about but is easily understood, especially when you’ve been through a similar experience. For those who can’t relate to the way she thinks, Artichoke’s Heart would definitely be an eye-opener.

The way Supplee handled the weight issue was amazing. People who are skinny seem to think that losing weight is simple as putting it on and that you can just decide you aren’t going to be fat anymore. Yeah, sorry, but it doesn’t happen like that. Supplee brings truth to what really goes on in a fat girl’s mind.

The romance portion of the novel was also well-written. I just wish there were more boys like Kyle in the world.

Truthfully, I wish that I could force everyone to read this novel. It blew me away and I’m positive I’m not the only one. So, if you’re going out to be a book this weekend, buy this one. You won’t regret it!

Three Holiday Stories


Title: Let it Snow

Authors: John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Rating: 7/10

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.

My Thoughts: I…well, to be honest, I didn’t like this anywhere near as much as I was expecting. That’s not to say it wasn’t GOOD but I was expecting something that would blow me away. And this was not it. I’ve decided that since if the first book I’ve reviewed with multiple authors, I’m going to take each story separately.

 Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson – This story and this story alone is what kept me from giving this book a lower grade. MJ has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time and she definitely does not disappoint. The story itself is definitely the most original of the three and the characters are incredibly well developed, probably moreso than you’d expect for a story this short. The relationships seemed so real and even though certain things seemed unlikely, it was impossible to put the book down.

 A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green – Surprisingly, this was the story I expected to like most but ended up liking least. It wasn’t very original, I had the ending predicted half way through the story, and the characters seemed to fall slightly flat. The one thing I did love, though, was the prose. I loved the slang and descriptions used. Unfortunately, I think I was expecting more from Green, after hearing so many fabulous things about his writing. I can only hope his regular novels are better.

 Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle – Lauren Myracle is absolutely fabulous. Her humor and craziness are just to be adored and they definitely show through her writing. Patron Saint of Pigs is a ridiculously cute story. Yes, the characters weren’t very well developed and the plot was slightly predictable but the story is just so ridiculously cute.

 So do I recommend this or not? Definitely but just don’t expect the stories to blow you out of your seat.

  • None
  • Megan: Just read LAST CHRISTMAS. I would SOOO reccomend it to people who havent even read the private series. It is soo good.The suspense was kiling me all t
  • Lola: Oh my gosh! i just finished it....i googled the song for i had never herd it before......may have been a mistake because it is in my head for taciturn
  • mais: heeeyyyy.... can anyonePLEASE give me the link or even send me the copy of the eighth book(revelation on my email because i cant find it anywhere for