Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Diary of a Would-Be Princess

I've decided to do a series review of The Diary of a Would-Be Princess series, now published just as books 1 to 3. the first to were published as Diary of a would be princess and a Tyranny of Toads, but with the release of the third book this year they have been reprinted and just named books one to three.

This series is aimed at girls of about 9-12. i read the first two books when i was 10 and really loved them, so when i spotted the third in the library last week i grabbed it, and I'll admit i still love Jillian James as much as when i met her when we were both in year 5. these are about the average life of an Australian school girl pretty much, but they're hilarious and interesting. Jillian always struggles with making and keeping friends, and excepting her self in her current situation. the moment she gets things sorted the next year seems to rush in with new challenges. she says in the second book "last year i got in trouble for not compromising enough, now I'm in trouble for compromising too much!" that's an annotated quote because i donated my copy to the local library and can't check the exact quote. every year has adventures and surprises, like the dreaded sports carnival, new teachers, new students, homework, horrible brothers, unfair parents and always a happy ending at the end on the school year. it's hard to explain all 3 books, but that's the best can do. search the titles and you can get good blurbs.

these books start with Jillian in year 5 with the lovely Mrs Bright having to start a journal. the book is scattered with comments by Mrs bright, it's such a nice touch. in the 2nd book, sometimes called a Tyranny of Toads Jillian is in year 6 with the terrifying Mr Rose and her diary is kept carefully at home hidden in her undies draw, as all girls do with their precious things (i swear, i actually do). their are no teacher comments this year, instead her older brother Richard leaves her sticky notes, which get stuck in. in the most recent, third diary Jillian is starting high school, and it's an exciting year. this year Richard leaves her famous, inspiration quotes from a calender he received for Christmas, usually cleverly annotated to annoy his little sister.

Jillian is another of my favourite characters. she's so clever, funny and insightful. i challenge you not to love her. in my last review i talked about how i couldn't believe Cameron Wolfe from Fighting Ruben Wolfe wasn't real, i feel the same way about Jillian.she's so perfectly flawed, always solving her problems, and causing more. I wish she was my best friend, we'd get along so well. her insight makes this a great book for mothers to share with their daughters. Diary of a Would-Be is not yet another, shallow, sugar-coated book, it's a good read, with character development. i was a bit too old for the 3rd book, it really is not the under 12s, but i could understand exactly what Jillian was feeling, and apply parts of it to year 10.all three book are filled with quotes from famous people, books and plays, like hamlet and Buddha, and new words like scapegoat. this is the perfect book for girls about 9-12, funny, interesting, with a happy ending.
honestly, these series is one of my favourites in case you haven't guessed, though all you lovely readers are a tad too old :)

sorry this post is such a mess, i ramble a lot. I'm working on it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fighting Ruben Wolfe

Title:Fighting Ruben Wolfe
Author: Markus Zusak
First Published: 2000

The family is broke, ever since their dad's accident at while on the construction sight no one has wanted to hire him and things are getting desperate. Ruben and Cameron join a boxing competition to try and make some money, though they know their father will never accept charity this is the reason to go into the ring. as they season continues though they both have to realise that it is not their real reason. Fighting Ruben Wolfe is a story about fighting as opposed to winning, a story about family, but most of all it's a story about having heart.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe is the book before Getting the Girl. i never knew they were in an series until i picked up this book in the library last week. i knew that there was another book about the Wolfe Family, but i always thought that with Ruben's name in the title that it would be from his perspective, not Cameron's. this is another boo told by good old, awkward Cameron. i assure you, you will love him. he is so perfectly flawed, and has such a heart you'll want to be his friend, to protect him from everyone. i swear every time i read a Markus Zusak book his characters never leave him, but Cam, i just want to know him more and more. i recommend you read Fighting Ruben Wolfe first and then getting the Girl, their order they were intended to be read in, because you see the characters change in the right order, which is the joy of reading Markus Zusak.