Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Reading Affiar: The Game

Hello darling readers!

Mr. J and I took our engagement photos today! We both had a great time hopping around a local botanical garden with family and getting a lot of great pictures. It was a fantastic experience! When the pictures have been looked through and edited I'll share a few on the side-blog!

Now, on to today's review.

I would like to review today a book from an author who changed my life with her work and really made my growing up years magical. Actually, her work makes my life magical even still.

The book is Ms. Diana Wynne Jones' "The Game"

The Game

Hayley’s parents disappeared when she was a baby. Since then, she has been raised and homeschooled by her grandparents. Grandad is overworked and travels a lot; Grandma is much too strict and never lets her meet any children her own age. When Hayley does something wrong — she is not quite sure what - they pack her off to her aunts in Ireland. To Hayley’s shock, her family is much bigger than she thought; to her delight, the children all play what they call “the game,” where they visit a place called “the mythosphere.” And while she plays the game, Hayley learns more about her own place in the world than she had ever expected. This original novella by Diana Wynne Jones is sharply funny, fast-paced, and surprising until its very end—like all of this acclaimed author’s work.

This book was one of Ms. Jones' more recent works and was published on March 1, 2007. Almost 4 years exactly before her passing.

I picked up this book knowing that I was going to love what I read, but not knowing what sort of fantastic story I was going to find. Ms. Jones' writing spanned all sorts of worlds, dimensions, ideas, and moral concepts. Her characters are always deep and engaging, full of spunk and adventure and humanity.

"The Game" is no different.

What I loved most about "The Game" is how much Ms. Jones drew from Classic Mythology. She explained myth in a very modern way and even made traveling from well known story to well known story a children's game. The reader, if they have ever been interested in Greek or Roman mythology, will start to recognize key elements of mythology in the places the children visit, props they pick up, and people they meet.

The main character, Hayley, has a family full of quirky cousins and aunts who make you wish you were a part of their constant shenanigans, mysteries, and secrets.  I personally love this sort of family personality aspect, possibly because my own family is so quirky!

Ms. Jones has the ability to create characters that will seize your attention and make you feel that you've met them...somewhere...sometime... before. There are characters who give you that great feeling of warmth and home, characters who demand your full attention and awe, and characters who are so annoying that you really wish you could just knock them right on the ears!

"The Game" is a story that bundles up drama, adventure, "Run run run!" moments, and hilarious exchanges that have you gasping for your next breath between giggles. (I personally thought the ending was particularly humorous.)

Diana Wynne Jones will forever be, to me, the master of magical stories and this is one that I will be reading to the kids someday. 

In comparison to books I have read in general, I give "The Game" a 10/10

In comparison to Ms. Jones' OTHER works, I give "The game" an 8/10

Amazon: "The Game" ($9.22)

New Challenges!

I am very pleased to have accepted two new challenges, and I hope that you will join me in trying to reach great reading goals this year!

The first of the challenges is:

Book Chick City's 100+ Books In a Year Challenge!

 You can find all of the rules on the challenge website (click the lovely banner above!) but to give you the short version here are the main guidelines:

  • Read 100+ books in 2012
  • No non-fiction
  • No audiobooks
  • You don't need a blog to join! That's right!   

Run run run! Right now! Go to the challenge webpage and read all of the official rules and sign on up! This challenge will give you the opportunity to really push yourself with reading and network with others who are doing the same thing.

Witches and Witchcraft 2012 Challenge! ❀ 

My first goal: Initiate 1-5 books
I am very excited about this challenge! Hosted by Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf, this challenge is all about getting readings to read fiction and non-fiction genre's focused on witches and magic. I love magical fiction (Much anticipation about reading "A Discovery of Witches") and am looking forward to reading some of the suggestions that were posted on the blog post to help readers get started.

The reader can choose how many books they would like to choose out of this category to read in 2012. It can be as few as 5 or as many as 20.

You can always start small and work your way up, but if you start out at the max... then there's no going back! Once you've set your goal number you can only increase it. No decreasing allowed in this challenge.

I personally am going to start out small and work my way up. So, that means my goal at this point is 5 books in this genre.

What's your goal going to be?


  • If you're interested in writing a guest review blog send me an e-mail.
  • March is full but I'm looking for APRIL books. If you have a book you'd like for me to review let me know via comment or e-mail.
  • Keep and eye out for my very first GIVEAWAY (April dates to be announced next review post!) 
Until next Blog,

Read on!



  1. "Ms. Jones has the ability to create characters that will seize your attention and make you feel that you've met them...somewhere...sometime... before."

    This is such a great quality in a book. I'll be adding it to my to-read list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been trying to find new books to read lately, and I'm glad that you have chosen this book to recommend.

  3. Love your header. Nice blog.


    Found you on the Book Blogs Site.


  4. So glad that you are joining my challenge!! And A Discovery of Witches is a great book!! Hope you love it!!