This book! Man. I had no idea what to think. S'okay; Bruiser is this tough melancholic loner that has caught Bronte's eye. Bronte being the sister to...more
This book! Man. I had no idea what to think. S'okay; Bruiser is this tough melancholic loner that has caught Bronte's eye. Bronte being the sister to the very alpha-male jock, Tennyson. This is definitely not acceptable. I mean, Bruiser's name is Bruiser. Duh. But still, Bronte's a fixer and she sees something deep within and wants to bring it out.
On a completely personal side note. I TOTALLY get Bronte. I so would have done the same in high school.
The thing is, Brew (a more human name once the two realize that he's well, human) has a deep secret which forces him not to let his guard down. He takes on the from the people he cares about.
How clever of a plotline is that?
The book is told in multiple characters, which I'm usually not a fan of because MOST OF THE TIME each character sounds the same. And here, maybe they do. I don't know. I wasn't paying much attention because the whole premise was wicked cool. I mean, it throws in the question of codependency and what one person feels and who is actually feeling it and MAN!
I loved me some Brew.
Although sometimes I wanted to punch him because really there's only so much someone should take.
The book kinda reminded me of Powder. Did anyone see that? I couldn't even tell you if it was a great movie or not seeing as I saw it as a kiddo. But it did leave an impression on me.
Another totally awesome and wonderful thing? I got to MEET Neil Shusterman about the same time I was reading this book. I stumbled upon his tour at the local B&N, which NEVER HAPPENS. Seriously. Authors are afraid of Florida, I think. He's such a cool guy and read from his newest book UnWholly. (less)
I am not a big werewolf fan. I can totally get into the vamp scene. After all THEY'RE sparkly. But werewolves are right up there with zombies. ESPECIA...more
I am not a big werewolf fan. I can totally get into the vamp scene. After all THEY'RE sparkly. But werewolves are right up there with zombies. ESPECIALLY if we're talking romance. I mean...animals or the undead? No thank you.
So. I had no desire whatsoever to read the Shiver trilogy. (1) It's about wolves and (2) it's a trilogy. But then I listened to The Scorpio Races which moved me from a horse-hating fool who ended up eating her own words and adoring it and I figured if there was anyone out there who would convince me that werewolves don't suck, it would be Ms. Stiefvater.
And I guess she sorta did. There is a huge truth in the fact that Stiefvater researches her folklore and then takes those amazing stories and turns them into her own. Because of THAT, I utterly dig the 'behind the scenes' of these weres, their mythos was pretty okay.
Still. She didn't sell me enough to necessarily want to finish the trilogy. I'm pretty okay with how the story ended in the first book and although it's not as though life is resolved, I can walk away from it peacefully.
And the narration? Definitely a winner. I enjoy the two narrators for alternating chapters. I don't think it would have been as fantastic without that element. (less)
"If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel"
That is exactly why I picked up this book because I am a self confessed...more"If high school were a fairy-tale kingdom, Connelly Sternin would be Rapunzel"
That is exactly why I picked up this book because I am a self confessed fairy-tale retelling addict. I also find that it's difficult to find contemporary retellings. Or even adult retellings. Are there any other there that I'm missing? Help please.
I also rated this a three-star as soon as I finished reading it, which means that I had to have dug it right? Well, I'm (trying) to write this review a couple of months later and I can't remember ANYTHING about this book.
So I cheated and read some other reviews. There's a vague memory in my brain somewhere. Connelly's father died but she doesn't know why nor does it ever occur to her to ask her mom. There's this popular boy (Jeremy) at their private richy high school who befriends her and he's going through issues because his sister is sick. They form a friendship, not a romance, which is a plus because there's just not that many books out there filled with boy/girl friendships when the boy/girl are actually interested in opposite gendered luuurve. (IE - in real life, folks, you don't have to be gay to have friends with the opposite sex).
Still. I can't remember much about this one.
Maybe I should change my rating from a three to a one because of that.(less)
I obviously understand why this book made such noise in the literary community, both young adult and not.
While listening to Between Shades of Gray I...more
I obviously understand why this book made such noise in the literary community, both young adult and not.
While listening to Between Shades of Gray I kept thinking, man where have I heard something so familiar? Of course it's pretty obvious. Young Lina's story of being a girl in the midst of war mirrors all of the stories that we heard about the Jews in Nazi Germany.
The difference here? Lina wasn't Jewish. Or German. She was Lithuanian and it wasn't Hitler who ordered her family to be taken from their homes to die in work camps, but Stalin.
I have a colleague at work who is Russian. Well, she's not exactly Russian, only kinda. What I mean by this is, her country (Ukraine) was taken by Russia and so she identifies with both. She's the one who recommended this book to me. Ignorantly, I told her that I had long since reached my fill of World War II books (don't judge, my grandma lived in East Germany during the war so I grew up hearing her first hand experiences).
I listened to this book over the summer and IMMEDIATELY upon returning to work apologized to her about my cavalier position when she first said I should read it. She was surprised and it obviously didn't keep HER up at night like it did me.
But folks...this book is Important. Because it tells the story that we don't really spend time listening to, and that's about Stalin and his malicious reign over Russia and how so many people lost their homes because they thought differently.
Because of THAT this book is Important. My mouth was agape most of the time.
As far as the audio goes....the narration was superb. The accents were believable (possibly real?) but didn't make me twitch in the ears trying to figure out what was being said. (less)
You know what is REALLY annoying? When you loo at a cover and think one thing only for it to turn out to be something completely different.
That's how...more You know what is REALLY annoying? When you loo at a cover and think one thing only for it to turn out to be something completely different.
That's how I felt about Crash Into Me.
I admit. I'm judgey. I TOTALLY judge a book by its cover. If I haven't heard anything about it (which is why reviews are oh-so-important) then it's basically if there's cover appeal. So. Take a good look at this cover. Doesn't it look saucy? Like, there's going to be this love story going on which two misunderstood characters. But they get each other.
I figured it would be a fun summer read.
Then I read the back aaaannnnd wellllll it IS kinda about misunderstood youths. There's a group of four kids who go on a suicide drive cross country visiting the sites of famous suicides. At the end, they're suppose to off themselves. Okay. Perhaps not the summer romance read I was expecting but it still sounded kinda neat. (And of course I mean neat in the clever story line way NOT in the yay young people killing themselves way).
But it fell short.
I wanted to LOVE this book. And I only kinda mildly liked it. There were only a few moments where I wanted to roll my eyes.
How a book began a 1 star and moved to a 5-er OR how audio books can sell even the most who-cares-story.
I checked out Scorpio Races from the library b...moreHow a book began a 1 star and moved to a 5-er OR how audio books can sell even the most who-cares-story.
I checked out Scorpio Races from the library because EVERYONE raved about it last year. "Ohemgee this is the best fantasy book in forever" I shrugged shoulders and moved on. But then, I was browsing through audio downloads that were available immediately because I desperately needed some company in the car and whadoyaknow this popped up.
I guess for a Young Adult book it's pretty lengthy at 400 pages (are the words big?) and I'm going to tell you something that will probably shock the pages outta you. I disliked this book until maybe the last 100 pages (1).
So why the meh attitude and how did it change?
If you aren't familiar with Scorpio Races, in a nutshell, islanders tame vicious water horses once a year for a grisly race down the island. The winner receives money and the losers are thrilled to be alive. Seriously. These water horses are viscous, the seem to love human flesh.
Sean has been the winner for the past several years and this race proves to be the most meaningful one yet - he'll get his financial freedom AND his horse.
Puck is one of the competitors, coming in as a first year. And oh yeah. Puck's a girl AND she's going to ride a horse NOT a water horse. There's some family drama going on that makes it nearly impossible for her not to race.
So we have competition. We have female-powerfulness. We DON'T have romance (initially)! So far three things that should make it a winner. BUT...folks I have a confession.
I d.i.s.l.i.k.e. horses. Like seriously DISLIKE. I don't get it. I don't understand people who go all ga-ga over the beasts. I don't think they're cute, pretty, svelte, beautiful, [insert any other adjective here]. Nor do I think they're especially loveable (although I have friends who swear by it).
Why did I continue listening then? The audio version of this book is fantastic. Ahmayzing. The narrators are wonderful and engaging and they have accents. I truly felt as though I was listening to their side of the story while the book was going on. They were THAT engaging. Plus all of the other characters were kinda interesting.
So I ignored the horses. Which was terribly difficult to do considering they were EVERYWHERE.
And then something happened. I can't remember really when my opinion shifted, but I do know that I'd leave working out and make it home just to sit in my driveway to listen longer.
By the time the book was over, I found myself rating it five stars. Although I admit, I don't know if I would have continued reading if I wasn't listening.
(1) 100 pages is merely an estimate since it was an audio book.(less)
There are very few books where I feel NO URGE whatsoever to explain what they're about and instead just skip along and singsong "Read this! Read this!...moreThere are very few books where I feel NO URGE whatsoever to explain what they're about and instead just skip along and singsong "Read this! Read this!". Because here's the thing, I could tell you that it's about this secluded island where the men marry seals, but that wouldn't make sense would it? Because everything in my head, if I heard that statement, would say "Whoah, that's a little too far-fetched for me right now..." So if that IS what you've heard, ignore it. Seriously. Get one of those sponges and wipe that spot away from your memory.
This book is magical. Lanagan cleverly shares tidbits of the legend through various narrators, each one gliding you closer to the big picture. There's moments of depression, of vengeance, and utter despair.
This book was FREAKIN' scary. Like, had I read this in my tweens, I would have been as scared as reading any promising Stephen King book. Y'know how m...moreThis book was FREAKIN' scary. Like, had I read this in my tweens, I would have been as scared as reading any promising Stephen King book. Y'know how most YA paranormal or "horror" books just allude to the scary scenes. Like, maybe someone gets murdered and they tell that it happens and that there was some blood and the PEOPLE were scared. And that's it. Cut scene. Move on.
Anna Dressed in Blood does NOT do that. Nope. Black does not hold back. She let's it all gush out. There's bludgeoning and purging and blood and decaying flesh. Do you get it? This book is not for the faint of heart.
And it's a series? There's going to be more? Can't wait.
So the scoop.
Cas is a ghost hunter. He sorta inherited the job from his dad (and a long legacy, I've gathered). Outside of ghost hunting he's also into avenging his father, who happened to get murdered by a ghost. Cas and his mom travel to a new town to find Anna Dressed in Blood. Legend is she was murdered on her way to her school dance. Now, she resides in her old decrepit house, killing sqauters or whoever else gets in her path. [Um and she SERIOUSLY kills them. Enter the gore].
This town separates Cas's other experiences because he forms friendships and falls in love. So there's more than ghost hunting going on here.
The mystery behind the ghost wasn't very mysterious but it didn't matter. The gore. Can I stress that enough?
Let's talk about the audio aspect...
It sucked. Thankfully the story kept me entertained because if this had been one of those mediocre books the narrator would have just put the knife in it. The voice was nasaly and there were few differentiation with the characters...EXCEPT for Anna's voice, which was suppose to have an accent - I think. But instead, it was just a tragic mockery. I hope that the narrator has a day job because I don't think audio books will pay the bills.(less)