First, some exciting news that just HAS to be shared!! I FINISHED THE FIRST EDIT OF MY NOVEL!!!!! *falls, exhausted, into a chair*
Finally, after months and months of procrastination and slaving over my writing, it is finished. The first edit. Also known as "The Re-write." Now I just have to type half of it into the computer, editing as I go, then go over it once more, then have Mom go over it, then have Mom go over it with me, then go over it ONCE more, then it will be completely finished! I'm hoping to have this project completely done by the middle of September. Then I can have a full month and a half before NaNoWriMo 2012 to plan and plot my spy novel! More on that later....
The final sentence (of the chapters - there is an epilogue after this sentence):
Finally everything was in order and Sebastian, Antony, Jamie, Dogberry, Verges, and Talia – who was coming for a visit - piled into Sebastian’s carriage and drove home to Illyria.What do you think? Is that a good ending sentence?
Second piece of news, I finished #2 of the Vancouver Sun books, The Secret Garden. Review time (proceed with caution, there may be spoilers)!
Title: The Secret Garden.
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Date published: 1910/11.
Synopsis: Mary is a spoiled ten year old who has lived her whole life in India. When her parents die she doesn't care, she only wants to have everything her own way. Mary is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire England in Missistwaite Manor. When she arrives she finds the house quiet and pretty much deserted. Her uncle does not want to see her and is away often. Mary makes friends with one of the serving girls who tells her stories of the moor and her family and of Mary's uncle Craven.
10 years ago his wife died and her garden was shut up. Mary is determined to find the garden.
Add in Dickon, an "animal charmer" and Colin, Mr. Craven's sickly son, and you get a great story!
My rating (1-10): 7 out of 10 stars.
Did the book engage my attention? Yes! I wanted to keep reading.
Age group: All ages - 6 or 7+ - all who would understand the story and up.
Why I liked the story: The Secret Garden is a story about growing - whether it be growing things like plants or growing into a better person. Both Mary and Colin (and Mr. Craven) start the story sour, spoiled, selfish, and self centered. When I first started the book and I was introduced to Mary I was thinking, "What an odd main character... She's so horrible! Detestable!" But as I kept reading she grew on me as she began to grow.
Mary (and the others) started to realise that life wasn't all about them and that they needed to change their behavior. Throughout the book you could see them change - great character development.
I loved how funny the book was - especially when Mary first met Colin and when Mrs. Medlock recruited her to come yell at him! That was funny.
It was a heart warming story and had some great lessons in it. It was also well written.
Most of the story focused around the secret garden and even though I myself really don't like gardening all that much, the story, as I said before, was about things growing. The author wrote the book so that even people who don't like gardening will enjoy the story.
The book was filled with fun, interesting, NOT-perfect characters, which made it enjoyable to read. I especially liked Ben Weatherstaff and Mr. Craven (if though he was barely in the book - I would have liked to see more of him).
Why I disliked the story: My biggest problem with this book was that near the end, Colin gets up and begins to walk and get well and everything... But he gives all the credit to "magic" and not to God. He's never been to church in the book, but it did worry me a bit that he talked so much about magic and that the magic was in him making him strong and making everything grow.
When Dickon's mother comes to visit the secret garden and Colin tells her about the magic, she said something along the lines of, "I suppose you can call it magic, although I know it by a different name. I suppose people in France and Germany call it something different." It is obvious that she is talking about God, I just wish she had said it instead of kind of skirting around it. And maybe I'm just making a big thing out of something little.... But I think that when you are talking about God, you should call him God, not magic. Especially not magic.
That was my biggest problem.... Another problem was that Dickon seemed to charm all the animals that he was around and he also seemed to make plants grow. Instead of calling this a God-given gift, it was attributed to magic as well.
Something else that impacted me was how cruel everyone seemed to Colin. He was told his whole life that he was going to die. I think it's horrible that any child should grow up with that. But it was kind of a plot point so I won't say too much about it.
Will I read this book again? Yes, I think I will read it again eventually! Although I might skip the magic part....
Live long and prosper!