Friday, 4 March 2011

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Book kindly lent to me by Asamum

Published by Macmillan Children's Books  in 2007

And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, 'Tis the fairy
The Lady of Shallot

The Lady of Shallot by Alfred Tennyson has to be one of the most beautiful poems ever written and Meg Cabot began every chapter of her wonderful book Avalon High with a a verse from it for me to ponder over.  On a personal note it took me back to the TV adaption of Anne of Greengables where Megan Followes pretended to be the Lady of Shallot whilst floating down the river. Ah happy days!

Back to the book, Ellie has moved to a new area whilst her parents take a sabbatical from their careers as professors to write historical books based on the legend of King Arthur. She becomes the new girl at Avalon High and cannot believe her luck when Will, the best looking boy in the school wants to get to know her.  Soon she finds herself hanging out with the cool people. Jennifer,the cheerleader who happens to be Will's girlfriend and Lance, one of the football team as well as Will's best friend.

As Ellie becomes more and more involved with their lives, she begins to notice that all is not what it seems. Will is convinced that he has met Ellie before, Lance and Jennifer are spending too much time together and Marco has got an evil look in his eye.

If you haven't worked it out yet, this book tells the story of the possible reincarnation of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  Meg Cabot has brought the Arthurian legend to the younger generation and given it street cred. Not that it wasn't already one of the most beautiful stories of all time, but now Cabot has made the story accessible to the preteens.

I am so pleased that I read this book, because it really was so much better than the film. Not that I didn,'t enjoy the Disney adaption, I just found the ending of it a little hard to swallow. In the film, Ellie is known as Allie and she turns out to be the reincarnation of King Arthur. Personally, I found that rather hard to believe; it just wasn't credible.  So I was relieved to find that the film differed completely from the book. 

Meg Cabot has created some wonderful characters and an original storyline which I found myself completely engrossed in. The book had some excellent twists and turns and I was quite disappointed by the end to realise there were no sequels.  Meg Cabot shows us a hint of her humorous side which makes me want to search out those Princess Diaries books as I have heard they are hilarious.

If you want a lighter look at the Arthurian legend, then this book will not disappoint.  Definitely worth buying for the children and your hidden inner child!

I couldn't finish this post without sharing this utterly beautiful version of The Lady of Shallot by Loreena McKennitt. It is haunting!


12 comments:

  1. I am so glad you enjoyed it. That video is just brilliant thank you for sharing it.
    I know what you mean about being dissappointed that there is no sequel. I want MORE :D
    Brilliant reviw btw :D

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  2. Isn't Meg Cabot a genius? Don't just pick up The Princess Diaries (though definitely do start there!) pick up ALL of her books, they are all worth it. All funny and quirky and enjoyable.

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  3. *sigh* Don't you just love the song? When I taught this poem to my 8th graders I would always share the song to end the discussion. I'm sure it's one of the few lessons that actually stays with most of them. :P

    Y'know, here's the tragedy with Meg Cabot...I think I'd like her, really I do, but I can't get past her covers. They are always so cheesy. I realize this makes me an incredible judgmental reader...

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  4. I haven't heard of either the book or the film so thanks for the recommendation, I'll certainly keep an eye out for the book.

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  5. This might be the perfect way for me to be introduced to King Arthur.

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  6. I'll have to read this one by Meg Cabot - it sounds good. I absolutely love The Lady of Shallot by Alfred Tennyson. I agree that it is a beautiful piece of poetry. On another note I adore Loreena McKennitt- I have everything she's ever done.

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  7. Asamum - glad you liked it. There should definitely be a sequel to it. I want to know what happens as he settles into the role.

    Clover - I shall definitely make more of an effort to search out her books from now on.

    Christina - isn't it gorgeous. I know what you mean about the covers. Got to look past them!

    PettyWitter - enjoy!

    Kathy - it is a fun lighthearted book with a twist at the end. I really enjoyed it.

    Darlene - I am going to buy an album of Loreena's. Her voice is just so haunting.

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  8. Asamum - glad you liked it. There should definitely be a sequel to it. I want to know what happens as he settles into the role.

    Clover - I shall definitely make more of an effort to search out her books from now on.

    Christina - isn't it gorgeous. I know what you mean about the covers. Got to look past them!

    PettyWitter - enjoy!

    Kathy - it is a fun lighthearted book with a twist at the end. I really enjoyed it.

    Darlene - I am going to buy an album of Loreena's. Her voice is just so haunting.

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  9. I love her music :D

    I am sure to watch the movie one day, i watch everything, lol

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  10. Vivienne, the book sounds really enjoyable. Lovely, haunting music! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  11. Sounds fantastic. And thanks for sharing the video, beautiful.

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Hiya, thanks for stopping by, it is always nice to hear what you have to say, so do leave a comment if you have time.