I was waiting to see what my book club thought of this one and reactions were decidedly mixed. While I enjoyed this very different (almost distant) taI was waiting to see what my book club thought of this one and reactions were decidedly mixed. While I enjoyed this very different (almost distant) take on the Arthurian legend, most of the middle schoolers were turned off by the ancient setting and sporadic use of Latin. Still, there was one who said he read it five times this month, so I'm pleased at least one of them really liked it....more
Hrm, not as bad as other reviews have made it out to be, but certainly not without its problems.
Grace Wilde is fed up with her family problems and looHrm, not as bad as other reviews have made it out to be, but certainly not without its problems.
Grace Wilde is fed up with her family problems and looking to escape, so she picks runs away to the opposite side of the world. A small boarding school in the suburbs outside Seoul to be exact. Despite everything being different from her home in Tennessee, Grace receives a warm welcome from her roommate Sophie, who introduces to K-POP and her superstar twin brother Jason.
So, let's address the giant white elephant in the room: no I didn't read Grace (or Katie Stout by extension) as a racist or bigot. I think there were two major reasons that people read that in the story: 1) Stout often awkwardly and unnecessarily highlighted race. Grace's younger sister exclusively referred to Jason and his bandmate Yoon Jae as the "sexy Koreans" which was kind of dehumanizing, but also not really realistic for a teen girl who would have just called them hot guys.
More problematic was 2) when Grace first arrives in Korea she is the epitome of a bad tourist: instead of embracing a new culture, she tries to experience it through her own cultural world view and constantly compares Korea to America for everything (food, music, transportation, etc)and either states or implies that the American way is the better way. She does eventually stop viewing Korea as some exotic locale to find herself, but by then a lot of damage has been done.
Which leads me to the characters. I never warmed to Grace; she seemed like a spoiled little rich girl who was staging a rebellion, shouting about how much she hates mommy and daddy, while using their money to fund her trip halfway across the world. Her cultural insensitivity didn't help, that she never learns Korean despite planning to stay there long term, and that she plays the "I have a secret tragic past that I will try to conceal from the reader" card made her impossible to root for. Which is too bad, because I pretty much liked all the other characters.
Sophie was probably my favorite character! I'd love to get the story from her perspective so I could find out a bit more about her and her relationship with both her brother and his best friend Tae Hwa. (Maybe there will be a sequel from Sophie's POV?)
Jason was pretty interesting, though he's "problem" could have been fleshed out a bit more. (view spoiler)[One of the things that keeps Grace from getting involved with Jason is his drinking as it reminds her of her brother and clearly upsets Sophie. Though there are good reason for both girls to be sensitive about excessive drinking, to me it never seemed like a true problem for Jason. It came off more as he was young, immature, and famous, so of course he will party a little. In fact, he basically stops immediately when Grace confronts him about it, so I kind of think the book tried to make too much an issue out of nothing. (hide spoiler)]
The remainder of the supporting characters kept my interest and I wouldn't have minded sacrificing a few Grace/Jason scenes to get some more depth and background on Yoon Jae, Tae Hwa, or Na Na.
Overall an average romance with some questionable cultural exchanges. I wish I had something I could recommend instead, but sadly there just aren't that many YA or romance novels set in contemporary Asia. Here's hoping this opens the doors to some better books down the road!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I liked this even better than the first one! Kamala's Ms. Marvel is my current fave superhero. My favorite part of the book is her fangirling team upI liked this even better than the first one! Kamala's Ms. Marvel is my current fave superhero. My favorite part of the book is her fangirling team up with Wolverine. Not even that grumpy old man can resist her sass.
That came out wrong. Really it was cute. Whatever, just read it and share in the squee. ...more
A frightening look at our present and our future. Media and technological dominance are themes often found in YA lit, but rarely with Feed's nuance. AA frightening look at our present and our future. Media and technological dominance are themes often found in YA lit, but rarely with Feed's nuance. Anderson shows us a world where ads are beamed directly into your brain, where credit/debt has overtaken the concept of money, and where the media is even better than the currently are at shielding the population of uncomfortable truths about themselves and the planet. It's all made more terrifying because we, the readers, might revile the feed (or smartphones), we find ourselves reaching for them without thought.
I'm looking forward to hearing what the teens think of this book. As "digital natives" or whatever sociologists are calling them this week, I imagine they will have a different read on this book than me.
Read for June Teen Book Club. Rating, probably not for the 6th graders due to language and some sexual situations (the narrator is an older teen boy after all)....more
This book was total awesomesauce! It's a refreshing modern take on the Greek myths and now my only dilemma is deciding if I should race out to listenThis book was total awesomesauce! It's a refreshing modern take on the Greek myths and now my only dilemma is deciding if I should race out to listen to the sequel or wait until later this summer when we're closer the third book's release. Loved the characters, totally engrossed in the story, the audiobook narrator eventually grew on me (her extreme articulation really helped me appreciate Blake's language), all around recommend!...more
Listening to Invincible and Infamous back-to-back probably did this book no favors; Sherrilyn Kenyon is best enjoyed in isolated doses, so you don't gListening to Invincible and Infamous back-to-back probably did this book no favors; Sherrilyn Kenyon is best enjoyed in isolated doses, so you don't get overwhelmed by the insanity. Infamous, the third entry in the Chronicles of Nick side-series, is an unfocused mess that shits on all the books that came before it. An abridged list of gripes:
-All the characters sound the same. Seriously, you either want to save the world or end it, and you have the same voice no matter which side you're on. And that voice is petulant, spoiled, and unconvincing.
-I'm now actively rooting for Cherise Gautier's death. This is some extreme abusive/co-dependent parenting. It's horrifying and I can't believe that her death would be the catalyst for Nick's downfall - if I were him I'd celebrate a la the munchkins of Oz.
-I miss the human character! This has been a long simmering complaint of mine with this series and part of the reason why I so enjoyed the first couple Chronicles of Nick books. It was great to have some non-omnipotent, total mortal peeps to follow around. Characters like Brynna however are quickly being punted to the sidelines for yet more super-powered, thousand-year-old demon slaves that talk more like tween than the actual teen characters.
-The book pauses the initial plot (someone is spreading really damaging rumors about all the kids at school) to pour on the angst. This initial plot is dropped while Nick gets knocked unconscious no less than three times(!!!) by various supernatural baddies over-crowding the already bloated cast. In fact...
-The mastermind of that rumors plotline isn't introduced until the last 10% of the stupid book. So even if you were trying to solve that problem around all the other Malachai BS, you couldn't because the character didn't exist until the very end!
-It ends on a "cliffhanger" that's anything but. Grim is trying to manipulate Nick into questioning Kody's motives, but two problems: 1) The reader already knows that Kody was sent to kill Nick, but 2) the reader also knows that she believes that Nick can be saved and is working against her orders. So the "cliffhanger" is really setting up a big misunderstanding plotline which suck and seriously make me question reading the fourth book.
-This isn't really YA. The narrator, supposedly a 14-year-old boy, reads like the hero out of a cheesy paranormal romance aka Kenyon's bread and butter. In fact, all the high schoolers behave like weird automotons out of a Lifetime after-school special. It makes you question when Kenyon last read a YA... or spoke to a teen.
I've already read a hell of a lot of these books, so I'm not ready to give up on this series just yet. But it may be time for a break....more
A solid, mature YA read. Surprisingly sex-positive, I though Bianca and her friends were all complex, realistic teenagers. The book lost a few pointsA solid, mature YA read. Surprisingly sex-positive, I though Bianca and her friends were all complex, realistic teenagers. The book lost a few points with me in two places: the teens read like teens (great) but so did the adults (not so great) and the love triangle at the end felt tacked on in an effort to create some last minute conflict. Otherwise a strong debut novel, especially as Keplinger was only a teen herself when she wrote it....more
Um, this was not an ending. I'm not sure what this was, because it lacked all focus, but man does the movie series have its work cut out for it to salUm, this was not an ending. I'm not sure what this was, because it lacked all focus, but man does the movie series have its work cut out for it to salvage this. A brief list of unanswered questions:
-First and foremost, how are the trials at ALL meant to find a cure? Study someone's brainwave patterns and preforming a lobotomy do not a vaccine make. -What did Teresa and Thomas do for W.I.C.K.E.D. that was so evil? -AND why does Thomas never get his memories back? -How is the Flare spread? Why does the world go from able to maintain quarantine cities to anarchy in less than a week? Is it because they have shitty quarantine procedures? -What was the deal with Teresa and Brenda? Were they just meant to be pseudo-love interests but not enough to turn off guy readers? -Who is Chancellor Paige and why do I keep hearing about her but NEVER meet her? -Is the secret endgame of W.I.C.K.E.D really to just let a bunch of immune teens repopulate the world and restart society? -WHY IS THOMAS THE CHOSEN ONE? This is where having his memories back could have gone a long way towards building some goodwill. But Thomas is not particularly intelligent or gifted or outstanding compared the other subjects....more
This was really unnecessary. Like, this couldn't have just as easily been incorporated into The Death Cure. Anyway, 2pg e-books like this make me gladThis was really unnecessary. Like, this couldn't have just as easily been incorporated into The Death Cure. Anyway, 2pg e-books like this make me glad I read novel-length fanfic which I don't post to Goodreads. Otherwise, I'd feel like my end of year total would be a cheat. OCD compels me to read these things though....more
Listen. You've got to be honest with yourself about why you're reading this book because yes, the start is a little slow, and yes, the romance plot liListen. You've got to be honest with yourself about why you're reading this book because yes, the start is a little slow, and yes, the romance plot lines are underdeveloped, and yes, it's hard to remember all the stuff from the first book (I read it a year ago). BUT if you want to read some actiony urban fantasy Supernatural fanfiction, Kami Garcia has you covered.
AND what's better than regular, casefic fanfiction (view spoiler)[don't say slash (hide spoiler)]? CROSSOVER! Yep, if you ever wanted to know what Sam & Dean would do in the world of National Treasure, look no farther. And it works! Really! I scoffed when the Illuminati showed up, but it totally makes sense in the world Garcia's built.
This was an improvement over the first book, so I'm looking forward to the third book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more