Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Sunday Salon: Mini Review

Posted by Caitie F on February 7, 2010

I have several books that I have read this year and haven’t gotten the chance to review yet, and figure I will do several shorter reviews. You may notice that these are book that I rated lower. I figure that I usually have more to say about book I really like than ones that I don’t. These fit that especially because I didn’t feel strongly about any of these books, but wanted to talk about them a little.

Avalon High

by Meg Cabot

Rating: +


Avalon High seems like a typical high school, attended by typical students: There’s Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. And Will, senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy. But not everybody at Avalon High is who they appear to be … not even, as new student Ellie is about to discover, herself. What part does she play in the drama that is unfolding? What if the bizarre chain of events and coincidences she has pieced together means — as with the court of King Arthur — tragedy is fast approaching Avalon High? Worst of all, what if there’s nothing she can do about it?


This was a great concept, but I thought the execution was not very good. The parallels were too direct and obvious and the story was very predictable. I got what would happen right away and once it was explained to the characters, it got worse. I wish I had liked it more, but I just didn’t think it worked. It was too trite and obvious.

Reading the OED

by Ammon Shea

Rating: ++


An obsessive word lover’s account of reading the Oxford English Dictionary cover to cover.


I loved reading about A J Jacobs reading the encyclopedia, so I thought I would love to read about someone reading the OED, especially since i love words. This book lacked the cleverness of Know It All and was not as entertaining and I thought it would be. i read through the Cs and couldn’t read anymore. It took a fun concept and made it…well, not so fun.

If you love words, it is worth a try though. You might find some great new ones!

Black Beauty

By Anne Sewell

Rating: ++


An autobiography of a horse.


I think this was a very clever book. Seeing things from the point of the view made me like horses a lot more (I have never been a big fan) and made me think about the horrible ways people sometimes treat animals. IT also made me think about how much animals return love and affection. I didn’t love the story, and probably would not really recommend it, but I am glad that I picked it up.

Project Princess

By Meg Cabot

Rating: +++


Mia goes on a school trip during spring break to buld homes for the less fortunate in West Virginia


It is one of the in-between books in the Princess Diaries series and is very short. I liked that Mia was doing something to help others and thought that it did make her realistic because she thought about her boyfriend in addition to thinking about doing good deeds. If you have read the rest of the series, you should read it. If you skip it, you won’t miss too much though.

Read this week

The Guinea Pig Diaries by A. J. Jacobs

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Project Princess by Meg Cabot

Little lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodges Burnett

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Currently Reading

The Love Story of J. Edgar Hoover by Kinky Friedman

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

I hope you have a great week!


4 Responses to “The Sunday Salon: Mini Review”

  1. Can you believe I’ve never read any of Meg Cabot’s work?

  2. Belle said

    I loved A.J. Jacobs’s the Guinea Pig Diaries, so I’m looking forward to the Know It All. I read Avalon High a while back so I don’t remember it very much, but I did like it, especially because of the King Arthur connection. But I tend to really enjoy Meg Cabot’s writing style.

  3. Caitie F said

    Know It All was amazing – 100 times better than Guinea Pig Diaries and I really liked Guinea Pigs Diaries!

    I usually like Meg Cabot – I thought All America Girl was fantastic and her two chick lit books she did under Meggin Cabot were also really fun reads. She is worth checking out!

  4. Lauren said

    I agree; Avalon High’s execution really wasn’t that great. Leaving it to definitely be one of my least favorite Cabot novels, but I do love the rest of her books a ton.

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