I picked The Black Jewels Trilogy off a Study Buddies Group list. Wow, I was not disappointed. I’m in love with this book.
The action and characters...moreI picked The Black Jewels Trilogy off a Study Buddies Group list. Wow, I was not disappointed. I’m in love with this book.
The action and characters were a little hard to follow in the beginning, but were soon made clear. I'm still a little fuzzy on the locations of the realms/lands, but it doesn't seem to hurt my reading experience.
I’m absorbed by the world-building, characters, espionage, and mystique. I can’t wait to see how this trilogy wraps up. A very consuming read. (less)
This classic has sat on my bookshelf while I strategically ignored it. I knew it would be a chore to read, but I was gladly wrong. The first chapter i...moreThis classic has sat on my bookshelf while I strategically ignored it. I knew it would be a chore to read, but I was gladly wrong. The first chapter is the most difficult, but it’s made easier if you have an edition with endnotes and references. It’s not an easy read, but you can easily become attached to the characters and their plight.
Dickens is accused of creating one dimensional characters and I can see that in Darnay, Dr. Minnette, Lucie, Lorry & Pross, but Carton & Madame Defarge are dynamic. But the real star of the book is the setting – the French Revolution. I was absolutely entranced by the passion and ignorance of the people. They were oppressed and abused, but in overthrowing the establishment they became them oppressors and abusers. The usurpers became blood thirsty and blind to justice.
My favorite scene was Madame Defarge and Ms. Pross fighting at the door. When Ms. Pross says "Nevertheless, you shall not get the better of me. I am an Englishwoman." I cheered.
That said, A Tale of Two Cities is not light reading, but I highly recommend it. If you don’t have an edition with historical references and analysis, grab the Spark Notes. You’ll be sure to enjoy the book the more you understand the historical significance of the characters actions.(less)
I think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book.
The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secret...moreI think this may be my favorite Shannon Hale book.
The writing style is very much like her other YA books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, & River Secrets). Also it shares the "speaking" theme.
What I love most about Princess Academy is the growth the characters experience. Miri began as a scrawny quarry girl who didn't know her place in the world. She developed into a brave, intellegent girl who knows her heart. The road of growth is deep in plot and emotion which makes of a very meaningful and touching read.
Lovely. Shannon Hale is a master of fantasy. (less)
The Explosionist is an alternate historical fiction set around the early 1900s. The alternate history beings with the Napoleon winning the Battle of...more The Explosionist is an alternate historical fiction set around the early 1900s. The alternate history beings with the Napoleon winning the Battle of Waterloo. Alterations continue through the following years resulting drastically different Scotland which is obsessed and accepting of spiritualism and psychiatry, while fighting terrorism and an allied enemy Europe. The plot centers around a mysterious murder and political intrigue.
The premise is very interesting and detailed. The alternate history is a little hard to get into, but then I could totally see how Davidson’s version is plausible (which makes it all the more exciting). The characters are likeable and relatable, but it’s obvious were only scratching the surface here and there will be a sequel or two. And unfortunately there is very little satisfaction in this first novel.
I am fan of the Victorian/Edwardian era historical fiction so this is my kind of book; and if it’s not your kind of book I can see how The Explosionist could be very hard to get into and off-putting. You’ll most enjoy this book if you’re aware of what was actually going on during the time period so you can puzzle over the differences.
All in all, a well written, quirky YA novel for a history/science buff. I’m looking forward to the sequel.(less)
Sherwood Smith's Crown Duel & Court Duel have been combined into one thick paperback, so you get two books for the price of one! More bang for you...moreSherwood Smith's Crown Duel & Court Duel have been combined into one thick paperback, so you get two books for the price of one! More bang for your buck!
Anyhoo, I really enjoyed reading Crown Duel. I thought the characters were very entertaining & the political intrigue kept me guessing. The plot & character motivations were believable (for a fantasy novel) and added depth to the story.
All in all, a pretty cool read & worth the money. I highly recommend this read for fans of the Study Series & Graceling.(less)
Perfect You is the story of a family whose father decides it would be best to quit his bread winning job and invest in a vitamin kiosk in the local ma...morePerfect You is the story of a family whose father decides it would be best to quit his bread winning job and invest in a vitamin kiosk in the local mall and the subsequent strife it causes to his wife and kids.
Perfect You is told in first person by the daughter Kate. Kate’s forced to deal with a father who has checked-out and the abnormally cruel pressures of being a teenager. Kate’s best friend Anna has abandoned her to be popular. And her long time crush, Will is finally noticing her, but dealing with his affection and teasing isn’t exactly going well. Scott writes the teenager’s emotions with distinct clarity and realism. She perfectly pens the self-loathing, doubt, and erratic teenage behavior. I’ve never been so glad to be past that stage while reading Kate’s story.
In my opinion, what truly elevates Perfect You into 5 star status is the advice that Kate takes from her grandmother in the end – “try being happy.” To many people (especially teens) that’s a new and strange idea. Can you really try for happiness? Isn’t that something that you just are or are not depending on the circumstances around you? Absolutely not. You can try for happiness. You can affect your situation. You just need the courage to try. (less)
**spoiler alert** Living Dead Girl follows the story of an abducted child – Kyla, who was reborn as Alice. Alice is beaten, molested, and tortured ov...more**spoiler alert** Living Dead Girl follows the story of an abducted child – Kyla, who was reborn as Alice. Alice is beaten, molested, and tortured over a period of five years. Ray, her abductor, is a psychopathic pedophile. He starves Alice to keep her small, dresses her like a child, beats her, and threatens her family to keep her compliant.
At some point it becomes obvious that Alice is no longer a little girl and Ray prefers little girls. So Alice agrees to help Ray abduct another small girl. It’s not inconceivable that Alice would be willing put another in her place if that meant she would be released from her own abuse and starvation.
Alice finds Lucy (who is renamed Annabel by Ray) a normal 6 year old, sweet, cute, and small. Ray and Alice plan to snatch her from a park and run out west. But grace is found in a pimple-faced boy who stands up to Ray. The ending is not pleasant, but it is unfortunately realistic.
Real life abuse is tragic and writing fiction about it can sometimes diminish it’s horror in order to tell the story. Scott does not hold back. The horror is real and you feel it acutely. The scenes are unbearable to read, but you’re so captured by Alice’s story you can’t help continue. This type of literature makes activists out of everyday people.
P.S. This a book for mature readers. There are many scenes of violence and sexual abuse. Although this is technically a young adult book, it might be too much for younger readers.
P.S.2. I can't decide whether or not to give Living Dead Girl 4 or 5 stars. Usually I only give 5 stars to books that are "my type" and Living Dead Girl isn't my type of book. I cannot re-read this book. That said, I'm so deeply moved that I'm compelled to give it 5 stars. Wonderful job Ms. Scott. (less)
The premise of Feed is a futuristic society where everyone has a "feed" chip implanted in their brain. They're force fed constant barrage of...moreNov 4 2008
The premise of Feed is a futuristic society where everyone has a "feed" chip implanted in their brain. They're force fed constant barrage of media, entertainment, communication, and advertising - and they like it. The feed has dumbed down society, butchered traditional conversation, and massacred their vocabulary. It's nearly painful to read. Painful, yet enlightening.
The characters Titus and Violet struggle to exist, but they're conditioned to accept and enjoy their current state of oppression. It's just very sad. Feed is not light reading although the lexicon consists mostly of "like," "wow," "unit," "thing," and various curse words. You'll want to take your time to soak it up and relate it back to today.
June 26 2009
I've changed my mind. This book deserves 5 stars because I STILL THINK ABOUT IT. Often. Every time I see 12 year old mindlessly texting I think "it's only a while before he gets his Feed." Feed has serious staying power. (less)