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Dark and elegantly horrific, radiating the scent of old blood and the dust of time, _Those Who Hunt the Night_ is similar in many ways to Anita Blake's _Guilty Pleasures_, but is suited less to those who favor humor and urban fantasy than to those who are interested in darkness with feeling and depth. Hambly brings her vampires to life for you--you may not understand them, you may not empathize with them, but they will seem real. Ysidro in particular has the power to fascinate, drawing forth the interest of the reader without ever slipping into anything much like humanity.
James Asher is also an interesting character in his own right, even if he may end up playing second-fiddle to Ysidro by the story's end. Lydia Asher could be reckoned as a heroine strong in her own right--for whatever reason, though, she was one character who left me cold.
This book is well-worth reading, as is its sequel, _Traveling With the Dead_. _Those Who Hunt the Night_ is probably the better of the two; its dark and occasionally chilling atmosphere will linger with one for a long time after the final page has been turned.
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Eight years ago, my daughter was also diagnosed with ADHD. As was my husband. Life has been far from dull. But, I've learned to laugh and roll with the punches. It's not always easy; I'm a very organized, low energy person. But I wouldn't trade my ADD Family for all the "normal" families in the world. ADD has taken us places and offered us experiences that most of the people have never known.
People with ADD are the catalists in our society the cause us to get things done. The driving force that keeps us from becoming stagnant. If we don't have those people that are impulsive, exuberant and thirsty for knowledge, we have no progress. This is the definition of Attention Deficit Disorder that is honest and true, and this is the definition that needs to be presented to the world.
In her book Distant Drums, Different Drummers, Barbara Ingersoll puts forth just such and explanation of people with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is the first book I have read that takes a postive view and explains it to the uninitiated populace. It's more than time that such a book existed and it should be required reading for all school teachers and administrators. I have bought this book and donated it to my children's schools.
If your child was recently diagnosed, READ THIS BOOK FIRST! There are tough times ahead, but Distant Drums, Different Drummers will give you the certain knowledge that though your life will not be boring, you are raising someone with the ability to change the world around them.
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By: Barbara Shoup
Stranded in Harmony by Barbara Shoup tells the story of the hardships and good times that one teenage boy goes through during the most crucial times of his life. Lucas Cantrell lives with his parents and younger sister Dawn in a small town called Harmony, Indiana. They live a small town life. Everyone knows each other and news travels as fast as wildfire throughout the town. The book is told from Lucas's point of view, and Lucas takes the reader on a journey to witness his life and true feelings as if everything were happening right in front of their eyes.
Lucas is the star football player on his high school team and is a very good student. He doesn't go anywhere without his best friend Bill who also happens to be Dawn's boyfriend or his girlfriend Sara. Lucas's first three years of high school flowed very smoothly. He went to school and got good grades, played football in the fall, and went out with Sara on the weekends. How much better could life get! But ... then came his senior year!
Unbeknownst to Lucas, many problems will arise during his senior year. These problems occur in all aspects of his life. His family, friends, girlfriend, and even himself are all things that Lucas struggles with. As these events occur many things go through Lucas's mind. "When did I change? When did I quit believing that there was a whole world out there, just waiting for me to step into it? When it happened, why didn't I notice? Suddenly, toward the end of the summer before my senior year in high school, I started thinking about these questions all the time. I felt as if I'd just awakened from a long sleep. That dead-to-the-world kind of sleep, with no dreams. And I looked around and thought, This is what I've settled for? This is my life?" (p. 2)
One of these problems is with the person that he would least expect it to be, his girlfriend Sara. Sara has been Dawn's best friend ever since they were little. And it turns out that Dawn was the one who convinced Lucas to ask Sara to the eighth grade dance. This began their relationship of four years. A problem arises when too many assumptions are made, instead of talking things through.
Another problem arises with Coach Petrie, Lucas's football coach. At the beginning of the season he appointed Lucas as the captain of the football team, so in return, a lot of things were expected of him. Leadership and setting good examples are among these things. As the season progresses, Lucas slacks off because of his problems, and his talk with Coach Petrie results in an outcome that Lucas doesn't really like.
Lucas is also offered a football scholarship to play football in college. A scout from Manchester College sees a lot of promise in Lucas. This situation causes many mental difficulties for Lucas. Because of his recent loss of a love for the game, and lifelong ambition to go to Indiana University, Lucas debates over what he should do. Mr. Cantrell also puts a lot of pressure on Lucas to make this decision. It has been Mr. Cantrell's dream to see his son play football collegiately. Should he take the scholarship and fulfill his father's dreams or live the life that he wants to live?
Besides the many problems that arise, two other characters play a key role in Lucas's life. These people are Ronnie Dale and Allie Bowen. Ronnie Dale is one of Lucas's relatives. When Ronnie was seventeen, he became very ill and has been bedridden ever since. Ronnie lives alone in a cabin, and it is the responsibility of the Cantrell family to take care of his every need. A majority of this responsibility goes to Lucas. It is his job to bring Ronnie his dinner every day and keep him company for awhile. Allie Bowen is introduced into Lucas's life through Ronnie Dale. By observing his daily routine, she takes an interest in Ronnie Dale. After being given the permission, Allie begins to make regular visits to the cabin to keep Ronnie Dale company. When Lucas begins to run into problems, he confides in Allie for help. After awhile a friendship develops and they both learn more from each other than they had expected. Allie helps Lucas with his history project and through this she unveils her mysterious past.
I would recommend this book to any teenager who wants be assured that they aren't the only ones in this world who have to make difficult decisions day in and day out. A peek into the mind of Lucas, a college bound senior, allows the reader to feel for the character and gives the impression that one is living Lucas's life along with him. The reader learns about Lucas's problems and travels with him along the road of recovery. Stranded in Harmony is a book for anyone who enjoys seeing a person work through their problems and succeed at doing so.
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I don't know what the previous reviewer's demands are when reading a novel, but mine are these: the story must create its world - whatever and wherever that world might be - and make me BELIEVE it. If the novelist cannot create that world in my mind, and convince me of its truths, they've wasted my time (style doesn't matter - it can be clean and spare like Orwell or verbose like Dickens, because any style can work in the hands of someone who knows how to use it). Many novels fail this test, but Bleak House is not one of them.
Bleak House succeeds in creating a wonderfully dark and complex spider web of a world. On the surface it's unfamiliar: Victorian London and the court of Chancery - obviously no one alive today knows that world first hand. And yet as you read it you know it to be real: the deviousness, the longing, the secrets, the bureaucracy, the overblown egos, the unfairness of it all. Wait a minute... could that be because all those things still exist today?
But it's not all doom and gloom. It also has Dickens's many shades of humor: silliness, word play, comic dialogue, preposterous characters with mocking names, and of course a constant satirical edge. It also has anger and passion and tenderness.
I will grant one thing: if you don't love reading enough to get into the flow of Dickens's sentences, you'll probably feel like the previous reviewer that "...it goes on and on, in interminable detail and description...". It's a different dance rhythm folks, but well worth getting used to. If you have to, work your way up to it. Don't start with a biggie like Bleak House, start with one of his wonderful short pieces such as A Christmas Carol.
Dickens was a gifted storyteller and Bleak House is his masterpiece. If you love to dive into a book, read and enjoy this gem!
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So says Dromio of Ephesus, one of the members of two sets of estranged twins whose lives become comically intertwined in this delightful, ingenious, & aptly named Comedy of Errors. Being an avid Shakespeare fan and reader, I unequivocally consider The Comdey of Errors to be Shakespeare's finest and funniest comedy. Antipholus of Syracuse and his long lost twin Antipholus of Ephesus along with the two twin servants Dromio of Ephesus and Syracuse become unceasingly mistaken for each other making for a hilarious and entertaining farce of a play.
The Comedy of Errors has been copied many times since in literature, movies, & sitcoms, although it has never been duplicated.