#BookBlogWriMo Day 12 – My Favorite Reviews

Day 12

I tried to pick out a few different types of reviews that I’ve written. Each of these below was written with a small flair or an emotional edge. Some are more positive than others, though I enjoyed all of the books below. Take a look for yourself. Which of my reviews do YOU like best?

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

From The Wreckage by Michele G. Miller

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Smother by Lindy Zart

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 12

I am thankful for weekends. Having the chance to decompress and spend time with my family is a wonderful feeling.

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#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 – Ten Of My Many Favorite Books

Day 10

I have SO many favorite books, so this was a hard list for me to make. I tried to pick books that have significance to me.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
More information about this book will come in a post later on during Book Blog Writing Month.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
We actually just got this amazing fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter to add to our collection. We pre-ordered from Amazon because the price was so amazing. By the look of it, it’s still great. JKR will be releasing each book in this format for the next six years. It will be a great way to introduce our son to the series when we start reading it to him in a few years. (This would make an AWESOME holiday gift, as well. Just some suggestions!)

The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
This series is about witchcraft and completely brought me into this incredible world about magic. I’ve read the series multiple times now and still have an emotional reaction to it.

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
This book was gifted to me by a previous coworker and I’ve been reading it to my son every morning before I drop him off at day care. It has become out little tradition. A review of this book will be coming soon. It is AMAZING. I have officially become a Nancy Tillman fan.

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This is a nostalgia book for me. I read it in high school and became very attached to it. It was my first journey into the world of Nicholas Sparks.

The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G. Miller
This series was my first introduction to Michele’s literature. I steadily fell in love with Xander and there was no turning back once I hopped onto this adventure. When she asked me to edit for her, I definitely couldn’t say no!

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
The perspective and message within these dark novels really struck a cord with me. If you haven’t read these yet, you should hop on board the Hunger Games train. And I don’t mean the one to the Capital. The movies are also incredible; while there are bits missing from the books, they are depicted very well!

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
One of the best children’s books to exist. My family had my best friend make me a baby shower cake of The Giving Tree. My guests also signed the inside cover. I will always have a special place for this one.

Unlit Star by Lindy Zart
Seriously one of my favorite books of Lindy’s. Also one of my favorite reviews that I’ve written. (Find it here.)

Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
This is the book that the Broadway musical Wicked is based off of. Gregory Maguire is a very talented author with quite a bit to say. His tongue-in-cheek style mixed with his knack for twisting fairy tales and traditional stories makes each of his stories a new experience. You can see my review of Wicked here.

Thirty Days of Thanks – Day 10

I am thankful for my parents. As I write this, I realize there is no way words can do my thanks justice, however. They’ve been there through thick and thin, raised me “right” and given me the tools I need to succeed. They’ve supported me in all of my passions and my crazy endeavors, and they’ve helped guide me through my new adventure of parenthood. Through my many scraped knees, teary moments, silly laughs, onstage adventures, and everything else – I couldn’t be more grateful. ❤

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Wicked Book Cover

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
By: Gregory Maguire
Copyright: 1995
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Format of Book: Physical (Good ol’ crinking-pages, hardcover, hold-it-in-your-hands, smells-like-a book)

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is a clever take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. The reader gets to see the story from the Wicked Witch’s point of view. From start to finish, we learn more about the Witch, her roots, her life story, her struggles and joys. Is it possible to love a villain? Hey, is she even really a villain? That’s what this beautifully written novel does.

I absolutely love Wicked. This was my third time reading this book; each time I read it, I find at least one detail I missed from before. I enjoy reading books that give me a different perspective each time I read them. This is no different. Separated into five parts, this novel is incredible from start to finish. There are two sides to every story and Maguire gives us a compelling and rather artistically-worded version. Dare I say, I enjoy the story within this novel far more than I enjoy that of the musical of the same name that was based off of this book. I love the darkness and the beauty of each character.

The Final Countdown
Characterization  –  4.5/5 Stars
The character development of Elphaba, our main character, is laid out to the very last detail from start to finish. Maguire takes us through the various stages of Elphaba’s life- from a little baby with terrifyingly sharp teeth, through teenage years and adulthood, until she meets Dorothy Gale. The thing that makes this book most enjoyable is how Maguire makes Elphaba into a character that the reader can relate to. I find it most interesting that it makes sense. This could be how the Wicked Witch was before that fateful meeting with the girl in the blue checkered dress and annoying little dog.

Throughout Elphaba’s story, we meet quite a few intriguing and mysterious characters; the beautiful Galinda with her upper-class life, Boq with his endearing persistance, Fiyero with his otherworldy ways, the Wizard with his agenda, and so many others. I fear giving too many names, as I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone.

Dialogue  –  3.5/5 StarsWicked quote 2
The dialogue in Wicked matches the wide array of characters that Maguire has introduced the reader to. The philosophical banter, moral questioning, heated arguments, and quirky jokes help drive the plot and characters along nicely. There are many times in Wicked that I found myself thinking, “Huh, I never thought about it that way” for various points characters would bring up. The argument of “What is evil?” comes up very often, each character sharing their perspectives.

Plot  –  4.5/5 Stars
This book has it all – mystery, intrigue, tension, love and hate, life and death, darkness and light. There’s a lot going on, but Maguire shares this with the reader in such a way as to not become overwhelming. I enjoyed finding out where Elphaba came from, who her parents were, what it was like to grow up in her world, follow her through her time in school and see what was to become of her. Maguire raises questions of morality and religion and what the consequences of our actions are.

The best part of Wicked‘s plot is that there are no stereotypical plot devices used. This is a freshly told story that keeps the reader on their toes wondering what will happen next.

Visual Imagery  –  3.5/5 Stars
The imagery in this story is well done. Maguire gives the reader enough detail to have a foundation but not so much that there is no need for imagination on the reader’s part. It’s amazing how Maguire can take a story like The Wizard of Oz that is so iconic and have his own take on what the land of Oz is like. He has an almost Tim Burton-esque view of this world he has adopted and made his own.

Ending  4.5/5 Stars
After 406 pages, I still didn’t want it to end. Luckily, it doesn’t have to just yet. Gregory Maguire has created a lovely little series of books to follow Wicked. While you know the ending of The Wizard of Oz, the ending of Wicked is like a whole new story. That’s all I will say about it. Other than, I love it.

Total: 20.5/25 Stars

Why read this book?

There’s a reason that I keep coming back to this book. It’s cumbersome in a wonderful way. I enjoy this version far more than The Wizard of Oz, but then again I’ve never been one for campy stories. There’s a little something in this story that I believe everyone can relate to, though the darkness interwoven throughout may not be for everyone. I love a book that can make you think. Give it a shot and keep an open mind.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?