Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twenties Girl

We are now living in the twentieth century therefore us girls can be called the twenties girl, another person who could be called that way would be someone who was living in the 1920s. That person would be old now with the age of 90 and above. Girls living in the 1920s adore dresses and for this century we adore jeans, shirts, short dresses, short skirts and many more.

Lara Lington quit her job to be a headhunter just like her best friend but she was caught in a bad position as her friend decided to quit and spend her time with another person in a foreign land. Lara herself have no experience in head hunting and was struggling to meet the demands of her clients. Other than that she just broken up with Josh who she can't get over with and thinks that there is still a chance with him. 

There was a funeral for her great aunt Sadie and her family attended along with her uncle and family. Her uncle Bill Lington is a celebrity for he made millions starting with two cents. Bill owns a big chain of coffee shops and made a name for himself. He also published a book on his path to success and gave seminars to teach people that they can do the same as him. Bill and family live a lavish life and his daughter is a spoiled brat. All of them did not give much thought to the funeral and just wanted to get it over with. 

During the funeral, Lara keeps hearing a person talking and it was asking where her necklace could be. Lara was annoyed and answer loudly but there was no one else in the funeral but her family. This girl who was dressed in the 1920s keep yelling at Lara to stop the funeral and find her necklace. Lara couldn't stand it and stopped the funeral by saying she suspected that her great aunt Sadie was murdered. Lara had to go to the police station to report her statement and why she suspected the murder. She was scared that she will be caught in an offense for making a false report but that was the only way to stall the body being buried. The girl ghost who kept haunting Lara was actually Sadie and she wanted her dragonfly necklace buried with her. It was a special gift that was given from Sadie's parents for her 21st birthday.

Day and night Sadie would pester Lara to find her necklace and on the way they met a wonderful chap called Ed. Sadie really liked his type of looks and so she forced Lara to ask him out on a date and soon they became friends. It was odd but somehow Sadie could convince people to do things by yelling at their ears continuously until they give in. Sadie's lost necklace leads to a mystery and a lie being discovered. The past of Sadie was also unraveled eventually.

This book is full of laughs and I dare say it's now my favourite work from Sophie Kinsella. I have never read so much humour in a book that seems like a ghost story but turns out to be funny. The funny parts are what Sadie manage to convince other people to do and also Lara herself. It was also interesting to read on more about how the Lara try to find a necklace that she have not seen before. The relationship between Lara and Ed was odd at first and it turned out to be something good. But the main thing of this story is the relationship that was built between Lara and her ghostly great aunt Sadie, how they found out where the necklace went to.   I really enjoyed this book but I wished the ending could somehow different on how things ended for Sadie an Lara. I recommend to those who wants a good laugh from a chic lit genre.

Friday, June 18, 2010

House of many ways

Ever gotten lost in a house? You will be if you went to live in a wizard's house that has many ways. Charmain loves to read and hopes to enjoy her summer reading more and more books. She also wrote a letter to the King to offer her help to sort out his library. She was expecting to have a fun summer but her Aunt Sempronia signed her up for a small task which is to look after Great Uncle William's house while he is away. The reason for him being away was he is sick and the elves took him away to heal him up. Great Uncle William is the Royal Wizard Norland and what's special about his house is that it bends space and time. One door can lead to different rooms.

As Charmain got there she wasn't given any instructions and she arrived just to see Uncle William getting carried away by the elves. Luckily the wizard prepared for a stay and there is a voice who answers to her questions such as How to get food, where is the bedroom and such. Uncle William's voice will be there to answer her questions to help guide her around. Certainly when she got lost in the house she would just ask and get the directions. In the house lives a magical dog and which became attached to her and along came a young boy Peter who was suppose to be the apprentice of the Royal Wizard. 

It seems like a disaster where they had many troubles in the house. Charmain also manage to get an offer from the King to help sort out the library. At the same time, the princess of Norland seeks Sophie's help in searching for the missing gold of the royal family. Sorting the documents, letters and books in the library helps the King find a clue in the missing gold. Uncle William also left a bag for Charmain which contains directions and instructions on moving around in the House. 

Somehow or rather Charmain is involved in helping to find the missing gold along with Sophie and family's help. The truth about the gold and the relatives of the Royal family is also revealed. Howl has also transformed himself to hide his true self for the investigation.

House of many ways by Diana Wynne Jones sure has many ways just to get to the bedroom in a small little house. This sequel to Howl's moving castle isn't as exciting as Castle in the Air where there was many roadblocks for Abdullah. This book had more of what happened inside the house and a bit on Sophie's family involving in searching for the missing gold and resulted to an ending that you can quite expect it to be. Throughout the book you read up on Charmain and Peter on how they manage in the house. How they did things and how they discover routes in the house which connects them to certain places. I think this story is just fine in the adventure department because not everything that happens is exciting. But when it comes to the last few chapters it gets a bit more interesting. Definitely not her finest work but good enough for me to finish the book as I wanted to know how Howl and Sophie is involved. I really hoped the writer would have sequel on the couple itself as they both have interesting personalities and also magical abilities. My favourite is still Howl's moving castle.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Castle in the Air

Living at a place where mostly you see is sand, it's hard to avoid dreaming away in the daylight. Abdullah lived in a country where when you walk out of the city it's the desert in front of you. He is just a carpet merchant and considered as a failure from the eyes of his relatives. Abdullah himself is happy with his business which was was some money left from his late father for him. He manage to get a booth at the Bazaar which is quite nicely situated where it is not too far from the rich people's house. Once in a while he manage to buy carpets from young merchants and sells it as his booth earning a little bit of profit. Most of the day Abdullah can happily daydream away where he is a prince and he marries a princess. Sometimes his father's first wife's relatives would come and complain about how he is a failure but that didn't bother him a bit.

One day Abdullah bought a carpet that was claim to be magical. The owner demonstrated that it could fly and needed to sell because he needed money quickly. Abdullah was suspicious but still the carpet was quite good quality. Abdullah was not able to summon the carpet to even float, he was upset and fell asleep trying. His dreams became wonderful where he went to a beautiful garden. At that garden was a beautiful girl and she thought that Abdullah was a girl because of the sleeping robe he was wearing. Everything felt real to him the next morning he woke up and he realised that the carpet had moved him there while he was sleeping.

Determine to see the girl again Abdullah tried all he could to summon the carpet to fly. That night itself Abdullah went to that garden again and the girl said that her father would marry her to a prince but he aged quite old. He decided to show her all kinds of man around in the world and so he bought every picture of different kind of looking man available. The people in the Bazaar thought he has changed his business into art itself. Abdullah carried all the pictures onto the carpet and went to sleep and after he woke up he showed her all the pictures and she was shocked and accepted that he is indeed a man.

The girl told him that she had a prophecy when she was born and that she was to marry the first man she sees excluding her father. That is the reason why she was only let to be out at night. The girl decided that she would marry Abdullah since he was the first other man that she saw, and so they decided to elope the next night.  In preparation Abdullah sold all his carpets to get as much money as he could and he went to buy something nicer to wear. He also got a haircut. Before he left his relative came and told him that they will reveal his prophecy that was given when he was born.

Abdullah went with him and read the prophecy which was he will be raised above others in this land. And so his relatives know that a great future will come to him and tried to set him up to marry one of the relative's cousins. Those two ladies were fat and ugly and he had to politely reject for he was going for the princess. That night he flew there happily and just about he was going land, he saw with his very own eyes that the princess was kidnapped by a djinn. He was powerless and was captured by the Sultan's guards. The sultan demanded to know where his daughter was and after they found they will fulfill the prophecy and kill him afterwards.

Abdullah manage to run away with the carpet's help and many trial and tribulations came for Abdullah to save the princess. In his journey  he met with interesting characters and met with Sophie and family unexpectedly. Abdullah will find a castle in the air and save his princess for sure.

This book is the sequel to Howl's moving castle (the one that Studio Ghibli made into a major motion picture) written by Diana Wynne Jones. Though Sophie, Howl and their baby only have a few chapters of involvement but it was fun to read how their lives had changed since then. I really like how the author inserted Howl and Sophie as they were from different lands. I really enjoyed this book as there were many trials faced by Abdullah and it was overcame unexpectedly. Although the ending can be easily predicted but how it got there was just interesting and fun. I dare say it's the second best story after Howl's moving castle.
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