Reviews by MariaK
A Supernatural Mystery
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This story is one of the few examples of true magical realism in manga. In this series, a girl named Ruka befriends two unusual boys who grew up in the ocean, and is drawn in to an oceanic mystery. Why are sea creatures in aquariums all over the world vanishing without a trace? And will the same thing happen to Ruka's new friends? This series is beautifully drawn, and told with excellent pacing. You will long to know what happens next!
A Wonderful Guide to Stir Frying
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If you have ever wanted to be able to get a grasp on Chinese cooking, this is the book for you. Grace Young breaks down the techniques and ingredients of traditional and innovative stir fry dishes to make a cookbook that is both sophisticatred and accessible. You will be surprised how easy it is to make these delicious dishes once you get the hang of it! And, as a bonus, this book is full of stories about the worldwide Chinese diaspora and the evolution of Chinese-American cuisine. An all-around winner!
Adventure and Danger in the Age of Discovery
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I never realized how interesting Magellan's expedition was. Boy was I missing out! Back in 1500's Europe, circumnavigating the globe was equivalent to landing on the far side of the moon, and Laurence Bergreen does a great job of capturing the drama, scheming, politics, and other dangers that plagued the mission. I loved how Bergreen really brought the characters to life -- examining personal correspondence, diaries and accounts to uncover details of personality and motivation. You will really care about Magellan and his ragtag band of sailors as they battle bad weather, inadequate food, cultural misunderstandings and mutiny to achieve their historic feat. A great read!
Surprisingly Likeable
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Yes, I was actually surprised that I liked this book so much. It uses just about every teen cliche in the world -- the snarky cheerleader with 'trouble at at home' and the goth with a secret are thrown together in a paranormal fashion and develop an inevitable and pseudo-inexplicable attraction to each other! -- but the author is great at creating teen characters, and that kept me wanting to see what happened next. Even though I found Will and Alona really annoying at times. Also, I didn't like the ending -- some things were left unresolved while others were resolved much too easily. This book is an enjoyable light read when you need some quick, fun distraction.
Love and Confusion...
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...are the emotions I feel after reading most books by Patricia McKillip, and this book is no exception. No matter how lovely her prose is as it glides over, around and through the story, eventually I reach a point where I no longer understand what is actually happening. But magic is more fun when it's vague and mysterious, so I'll just keep forgiving her. I loved the way this book tied together music and magic, the everyday and the otherworldly and the past and future. Although the characters come across a bit flat, I like the fairy-tale-like atmosphere.

Fans of the "Dreamhunter" books, "The Hero and the Crown" and Ursula K. LeGuin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" should definitely read this, and any number of other books by McKillip.