Let me start by saying that in some weird way, this book blew me away.
Madapple is the story of Aslaug Hellig, a bright girl who was raised in near isoLet me start by saying that in some weird way, this book blew me away.
Madapple is the story of Aslaug Hellig, a bright girl who was raised in near isolation by her genius -- but disturbed -- mother. When Aslaug's mother dies, Aslaug goes to the only place she can remember her mother having taken her. The place, it turns out, is a former monastery-turned-church, run by an aunt she never knew she had. Aslaug moves into the church with her aunt Sara and her children, Sanne and Rune, and gets caught up in the distrubing world they have created for themselves.
Madapple mixes religion, mythology, psychology and (of all things) botany to create a very captivating and disturbing world for Aslaug to live in. Told through chapters set alternately in the present and in the past, Aslaug's story is revealed slowly and cryptically, making the book a potentially challenging read for some. Also, some themes and subject matter may be too adult and/or inappropriate for some readers, but for those who persevere and can handle the dark subject matter, Madapple is a strange little gem. It is little wonder that Meldrum, a first time author, was a finalist for the Morris Award....more
City of Ember is about a colony of people who live in the year 241. Their small city is on the verge of disaster: supplies are running out and they maCity of Ember is about a colony of people who live in the year 241. Their small city is on the verge of disaster: supplies are running out and they may be loding power. If the lights go out they will be plunged into absolute darkness and be unable to survive. Lina and Doon, two 12 year olds recently placed in jobs (Lina as a Messenger, Doon in the Pipeworks) set about rescuing the city of Ember.
I got sucked into this book much quicker than I thought I was going to, and even though some things were predictable, and some of the "messages" were a bit too heavy-handed for me, all in all it was really entertaining and a great book for the age group. There are a few others in the series (The People of Sparks is #2), which City of Ember has me eager to read....more
Gene Luen Yang blends three stories (that of the famous chinese Monkey god from Journey to the West; the story of Jin Wang, an American boy born of ChGene Luen Yang blends three stories (that of the famous chinese Monkey god from Journey to the West; the story of Jin Wang, an American boy born of Chinese immigrants; and Chin-Kee, a walking stereotype) into one humorous and thought-provoking story told in graphic novel form that reads like a self-effacing diary. His characters are funny and charming, and the three separate threads combine at the end to make them something greater than the sum of their parts. American Born Chinese is easily a one-sitting read, though much more time may be spent poring over the illustrations (which have a Bazooka Joe lightness to them), which capture the moods perfectly. Despite mild and rare cursing, this book can easily be shared with younger readers. Yang manages to deal with serious subjects with a light hand, respecting them without getting bogged down in didacticism or the pointing of fingers. His writing is fun, witty and playful, and his book charming....more
I wanted more from this book. It sounded so cute, like such a neat idea, but it fell a little flat to me. Repossessed is the story of Kiriel, a fallenI wanted more from this book. It sounded so cute, like such a neat idea, but it fell a little flat to me. Repossessed is the story of Kiriel, a fallen angel who possesses the body of Shaun, a slacker teen who wasn't doing much with it anyway, as Kiriel quips. Kiriel tries to experience life as Shaun, luxuriating in the senses humans possess and the activities he's seen humans do but never been able to do himself. He is at first rather sex-obsessed (fitting, as he inhabits a teenage boy), but as the story progresses he begins to truly experience life and develop attachments, in essence becoming more human. So, sounds great. And it was cute, and there were some great humorous parts, both through Kiriel's narration and through his blundering his way through a human life. But it was always only so-so, and even though there was nothing I hated about it, I felt myself constantly checking the page number to see how much was left. I had waited a while for it and was excited, and by the time I got into it, I was just ready for it to end. I would try another Jenkins book, it was good enough for that, but if another left me feeling dissatisfied and underwhelmed, I don't think I'd give him a third chance....more
The graveyard book tells the story of Nobody Owens (called Bod), who escapes to a graveyard as a toddler after his family is murdered. Bod is given thThe graveyard book tells the story of Nobody Owens (called Bod), who escapes to a graveyard as a toddler after his family is murdered. Bod is given the freedom of the graveyard, allowing him to pass freely through the graveyard and learn the ways of the ghost inhabitants who are helping to raise him. This graveyard family teaches Bod how to see at night, to Haunt, Fade and Dreamwalk; they protect him from the outside world, and from the man who killed his family and would like to finish the job. But they cannot protect him forever, and Bod knows that one day he will have to confront the world and the dangers in it, embracing his destiny for good or bad. I was really excited to read this book, and even though I was in the middle of another, I found myself repeatedly picking The Graveyard Book up and opening to the brilliant first page. I finally caved in and set my other book aside so I could read this, and at first I was entirely disappointed and didn’t think I was going to like the book at all. I found Bod’s toddler years to be only tolerable. There was occasional cuteness, but nothing to hook me and make me want to keep reading (aside from the fantastic Gorey-esque illustrations). That all changed when Bod went to Ghûlheim; from then on I was absolutely hooked. The writing is clever and has a certain brightness mingled with the dark of the story. The book is sprinkled with interesting characters (with amusing epitaphs). The worlds Gaiman created are vivid and intriguing, with interesting and original takes on familiar mythology. Bod’s journey is relatable, even in all of its surrealness, and the overall message is incorporated well without being didactic. This is the sort of story I know I would have become completely lost in and obsessed with as a child. A warning to parents that there are some dark themes and scary elements, but overall I would recommend this to any child/young teen, especially those who like fantasy and darker elements. This would also make a fun read-aloud for parents and children, or a classroom, and the illustrations add to the story immensely. I would rate this closer to a 4.5....more
I would maybe bump this up to a 3 on a good day, but really, I think I'm just not the right market for it. Body mod is nothing new to me, so there wasI would maybe bump this up to a 3 on a good day, but really, I think I'm just not the right market for it. Body mod is nothing new to me, so there was no "ooh, ahh" factor, and I'm just not enough into S&M or freaked out enough by it for those scenes to really have gotten to me.
So far, even though the style took some getting used to, and the voice was slightly frustrating at first, I have to say this book reaffirms my love ofSo far, even though the style took some getting used to, and the voice was slightly frustrating at first, I have to say this book reaffirms my love of Alexie. He is able to pull you along peacefully and then hit you with something so profound and utterly true that I swear you almost gasp....more
I am a Margaret Atwood fan, and I am trying to do a "best of sci-fi summer" and I wanted to read this book for the simple fact that she wrote it, butI am a Margaret Atwood fan, and I am trying to do a "best of sci-fi summer" and I wanted to read this book for the simple fact that she wrote it, but didn't think it fit the bill. Fortunately it did (I would have read it anyway), and I liked it more than I expected to. In true Atwood fashion, there is no resolution, no happy -- or unhappy -- ending [Edit: there's a 2nd book, so there is a resolution. Ish.], but there is a lot of thought-provoking material and all-around great writing that just sucks you in. The story is of a man who seems to be the last authentic homo sapiens on Earth, and it switches back and forth between the present and the past events that have gotten him to where he is now. Really interesting ethically and scientifically. ...more