Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam #1)
By Jasper Fforde
18,000,000 Stars

“The Kingdom of Hereford was unique in the Ununited Kingdoms for having driving tests based on maturity, not age, much to the chagrin of a lot of males, some of whom were still failing to make the grade at thirty-two.”
There are no words for how much I absolutely adore this book! I want to carry it around with me everywhere, hugging it to my chest, whilst skipping and singing.

Lemur Doing a Hop
This book made me as happy as this guy jumping around with a lemur.

But seriously, if you're a fan of cleverness, wit, and general awesomeness, then this is the book for you. Jennifer Strange is 15 and runs Kazam, an employment agency for wizards in the Kingdom of Hereford. Magic, though, doesn't have the umph it used to; it's dwindling, and some fear it may be disappearing forever. Magic carpets are used to deliver pizza. Wizards are hired to rewire houses. But Jennifer is having a hard time getting these jobs for the agency; she keeps getting underbid by non-magic plumbers and electricians.

Suddenly, though, magic starts to grow again. The wizards are able to accomplish feats of magic that they haven't been able to do in decades. And anyone who has ever had any kind of premonition suddenly starts to see the same thing: The Last Dragonslayer will come and slay the last dragon.

I don't want to give too much away, but I'm telling you, I haven't read a book that made me giggle this much or provided me with such a general feeling of happiness the way this book did. I lurved it! The writing is fun, the characters (like the wizards Moobin and Full Price - who has a brother called Half Price) are wonderfully and creatively rendered, and the plot feels completely new - I've never read anything like it!

Jasper Fforde is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I'm thrilled he's written a new series for teens! 

Book Review: Faking It

Faking It
By Jennifer Crusie
“If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning."
-Gwen Goodnight
This super-cute rom-com was so fun to read! I picked it up after reading a few gut-wrenching YA novels because I needed a bit of an emotional break. Crusie is my go-to for a fun read. Now, nothing can compare to her Agnes and the Hitman (seriously, if you haven't read that one, go get it right now and get started! I promise, you won't regret it!), but honestly, nothing can.

Faking It is the story of the Goodnight family, who own an art gallery and are having trouble making ends meet. Some things happen and a painting that should never have been sold was sold. This is a bad because that painting could prove that some other paintings were forgeries. So, Tilda, the most normal member of an abnormal family, has only one choice: steal the painting back. As she's in the process of stealing said painting, she hears something and hides in the closet, where she meets another thief. Davy Dempsey is a con man trying to steal money back from the woman who stole it from him, after he stole it from her. Something like that. Shenanigans ensue.

I really enjoyed this book. Cons, heists, forgeries, crazy family members, and art fill all the pages. For some reason, and I don't know what this says about me, but I am intrigued by art forgery, cons, and heists. Don't worry, I'm completely incapable of doing any of those illegal activities, even if I wanted to (which I don't), but I find the art and practice of it fascinating. That's one reason I loved Leverage so much (RIP, Leverage. You were the best of TV shows, though you were sadly unappreciated. I will miss you.). Anyway, the romance was what you'd except from a chick-lit rom-com, with an added bonus of lovely secondary characters, three additional romances, and comeuppance to the nasty characters. If you're looking for a quick, light read, you can't go wrong with a Crusie, and Faking It doesn't disappoint!