Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Everlife & That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana

I just bought these 3 new things that I really like (see my to-do list in the sidebar). Here's a review on all of them:

Christian pop/rock trio Everlife--consisting of sisters Amber, Julia, and Sarah Ross--presents an energetic set of accessible and uplifting tunes. With messages of faith couched in highly melodic, guitar-driven anthems, the Disney-affiliated group has an appeal that extends beyond a CCM audience, as evidenced on the surging "Goodbye" and the optimistic "Find Yourself in You," which was previously featured on the HANNAH MONTANA soundtrack.

High School Musical

The Tipton Hotel is the happening place in Boston and one famous personality after another is checking in. First, Raven (That's So Raven) gets the chance of a lifetime when her boss Donna Cabonna asks her to fill in for a sick assistant and accompany her on an important Boston photo shoot that will launch her new boys clothing line. Raven's ineptitude with a new electronic scheduler lands their famous photographer at a Tipton half way around the world in Italy, strands their two young models somewhere in Central Europe, and threatens to derail the whole photo-shoot. Luckily, Zack and Cody (Suite Life of Zack and Cody) step in to serve as last minute models and the photographer manages to make her way to the correct Tipton Hotel. While she's there, Raven has one of her psychic premonitions and warns Zack and Cody that the surprise party they're planning for their mother's birthday will somehow go very wrong and Maddie and Raven hatch a plot to trick London into wearing a Raven-original dress to an important "Young Heiress Magazine" photo shoot. Hannah Montana (Hannah Montana) also happens to be at the Tipton Hotel where she falls in love with London's Raven-original dress and begs Raven for a dress of her own to wear to an important award show. Back home, Miley (Hannah) suddenly realizes that she and her brother may be holding her father back from his own musical ambitions and the pair makes some big sacrifices to put him back on the road again. The Disney worlds of That's So Raven, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana collide in three consecutive mixed-up episodes that are sure to enchant everyone. Bonus features include an episode of Suite Life of Zack and Cody that focuses on the difficulty of sensible eating and weight problems, an interactive That's So Raven trivia game, and the Hannah Montana music video "Who Said." --Tami Horiuchi

Ashley Tisdale

Surpassing its popular prequel Eragon, this second volume in the Inheritance trilogy shows growing maturity and skill on the part of its very young author, who was only seventeen when the first volume was published in 2003. The story is solidly in the tradition (some might say derivative) of the classic heroic quest fantasy, with the predictable cast of dwarves, elves, and dragons--but also including some imaginatively creepy creatures of evil.
The land of Alagaesia is suffering under the Empire of the wicked Galbatorix, and Eragon and his dragon Saphira, last of the Riders, are the only hope. But Eragon is young and has much to learn, and so he is sent off to the elven forest city of Ellesmera, where he and Saphira are tutored in magic, battle skills, and the ancient language by the wise former Rider Oromis and his elderly dragon Glaedr. Meanwhile, back at Carvahall, Eragon's home, his cousin Roran is the target of a siege by the hideous Ra'zac, and he must lead the villagers on a desperate escape over the mountains. The two narratives move toward a massive battle with the forces of Galbatorix, where Eragon learns a shocking secret about his parentage and commits himself to saving his people.
The sheer size of the novel, as well as its many characters, places with difficult names, and its use of imaginary languages make this a challenging read, even for experienced fantasy readers. It is essential to have the plot threads of the first volume well in mind before beginning--the publisher has provided not only a map, but a helpful synopsis of the first book and a much-needed Language Guide. But no obstacles will deter the many fans of Eragon from diving headfirst into this highly-awaited fantasy.

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